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!

Written by Greg Rucka (author of the Atticus Kodiak series and some comics featuring a rich guy with lots of free time and a bat cosplaying fetish), the novel titled Before the Awakening tells the story of TR-8R.
The author tells us of Finn’s previous life, growing up along with the other members of his special squad, consisting of Stormtroopers FN-2199 (nicknamed Nine), FN-2000 (Nicknamed Zero) and FN- 2003 (nicknamed Slip). While Episode 7 hints that Stormtrooper nicknames are tied to their name-codes, Slip is simply given the name for apparently being the unluckier, more accident-prone of the bunch.Before The Awakening also hints at Finn’s innate knack for combat (and possibly explain how he handled that lightsaber so deftly on his first try) by explaining that he ranked among the top 1 percent among the First Order’s Stormtrooper Academy. It sheds some light into the motivations of  Phasma motivations, explaining how she always had her eye on Finn and how she considered his overwhelming loyalty to his team-mates as a future hindrance in completing his mission objectives. If the first 15 minutes of Episode 7 are any indication, she was right all along.

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:

“I’ll have to get back to you on that. Hold that thought.” 
The staff at NerdBastards are assuming that Lucasfilm and Disney want to avoid another Darth Maul-like fan letdown and will literally bend over backwards to avoid it. The more cynical ones among us have already made up a dead pool, betting that TR-8R will never make it to Episode 9.

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:

Source: MovieWeb

Category: Film