The Internet’s favorite Stormtrooper light burned fiercely but shortly during his cameo in Episode 7, going out like the badass that we assume that he was. Here at NerdBastards, we liked to imagine him as a gentle but misguided soul, poisoned by the doctrines of Supreme Leader Snoke, tormented by a long-lasting stamp-collecting fetish.
Armed with his crackling Z6-series baton, the Stormtrooper’s let out a single cry, which fans later assumed was his name, in true Pokemon Gen-1 fashion. Thus, TR-8R, the most memed extra in the history of science fiction since Bobba Fett’s firecracker-like rise to fame, was born.
It got so silly in fact, that you can now learn all about his backstory in an upcoming tie-in novel!
Apparently, the book confirms the NerdBastards staff theory that the dying Stormtrooper that smears blood over Finn’s helmet was indeed a close friend. Greg Rucka goes into detail about Finn’s friendship with Slip and how the Stormtrooper takes risks just to cover up for Slip’s many unfortunate accidents, before finally snapping as soon as his friend dies in a firefight in Lor San Tekka’s small village of Jakku.
That explains Finn’s motivations to turn his back on the First Order, but where does that leave us, in discovering TR-8R’s true identity? Is he Nine or Zero? What could have possibly happened in their past that made this fight so damn personal? Will the Z6-wielding Trooper make amends with his long-lost friend, or will it all go down in an awesome swordfight? Also, will anyone care, when TR-8R’s official name is revealed?
If we are honest, it seems like he is stuck with it forever, simply by virtue of repetition.
The rise of TR-8R in popularity has turned his future character arc into a point of contention among the writing staff, who are caught in a bind debating whether Han Solo’s bowcaster blast did indeed kill the Stormtrooper. When Pablo Hidalgo, story group executive behind Episode 7 was asked to clarify on the details of this issue, he replied with an almost poetic:
In the meantime, stoke the flames of the TR-8R hype-train by taking a look into Star Wars Minute’s take on the man behind the force-baton: