He's the Stormtrooper who stole the show early on: named TR-8R by fans, this Trooper shot to fan fave status quickly thanks to his awesome battle with Finn in Star Wars 7. It's traitor vs loyalist, friend vs. friend, lightsaber vs... that super cool lightning baton. And although TR-8R is the base for many hilarious memes, his backstory might just bring a tear to your eye...
Spoiler warning: this article will not only spoil The Force Awakens, but also Finn's backstory! So read on at your own risk.
But before we get into the tragic story of TR-8R and FN-2187, let's re-watch the tiny snippet of the battle which Disney included in their TV spots...
Yeah, he's pretty damn awesome. So who really is TR-8R? And how is he connected to Finn?
You Guessed It - He's An FN Trooper!
So it turns out that TR-8R is actually one of Finn's own squadron and more than that: they were friends. Well, kinda. Finn's backstory is covered in the book Before The Awakening by Greg Rucka, and his relationship with his fellow Stormtroopers was complicated at best. Let's break it down.
The FN Troopers were pretty tight, even coming up with nicknames for each other. FN-2000 is Zeroes, FN-2199 is Nines, and FN-2003 is Slip. But poor Finn didn't get a nickname because he was something of an outsider. A few Stormtroopers resented him for being so good at his job: Captain Phasma often singled him out for praise. But Finn was included in this little gang of FN Troopers... and so was TR-8R.
You can see TR-8R in the back with the red hair. So why is his backstory so poignant?
We Need To Talk About Slip
FN-2003 was nicknamed Slip because he was just kinda... bad at stuff. He'd always mess up whatever he tried: combat training, riot control, even the cleaning rotation. So Finn, kindhearted as he is, took it upon himself to take care of Slip, and the two had a brotherly relationship. Oh, and we're pretty sure how Slip appears in The Force Awakens...
Yup, he's the one who was shot by Poe Dameron at the very beginning of Episode 7, which was a huge turning point for Finn. Turns out Phasma had already cautioned Finn, ordering him to stop prioritizing his friends' wellbeing above the mission.
So Finn stopped looking out for Slip... and Slip died.
What Does This Have To Do With TR-8R?
Nines and Zeros were quite good friends with Slip, and with Finn. Or, as good friends as you could be when you work for an evil power. Many fans theorized that the reason TR-8R was so furious at Finn in that scene was because he was one of the FN squadron. And now it's been confirmed that yes - he's Nines!
This adds another level to TR-8R's rage. Is he just angry because Finn defected, or because Slip died? One thing's for certain though: this Trooper's story is not over. So did TR-8R survive Chewbacca's crossbow blast? According to Lucasfilm... maybe.
"Let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of Nines. Or TR-8R. Who wouldn’t want to see Round 2… and all the memes it could inspire?"
With his connection with Finn it's possible we'll see TR-8R pop up in Star Wars Episode 8: after all, they need to have a rematch! And Lucasfilm are definitely teasing TR-8R's epic return. But until then, at least we have plenty of memes to tide us over!
Would you like to see more from TR-8R? Should he defect too... or become Finn's nemesis? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!