TR-8R, the fan-named Stormtrooper who nearly handed Finn his timid, lightsaber-wielding @ss with that awesome, electrified, super-soaker beat-down baton, recently received an official name thanks to our friends at StarWars.com.
The initially nameless Stormtrooper appeared on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and, confronted with Finn’s shaky lightsaber-stance, pulled out an equally intimidating weapon while calling Finn a ‘traitor,’ hence the fan designation of ‘TR-8R.’ Since TR-8R made his first appearance, he became an instantaneous internet darling and the source of innumerable memes, fan-art and twitter-jokes. Yes, conjecture is fun and so is making a uniquely equipped Stormtrooper dance, but it turns out this particular meme-machine has an actual, canonical history.
Say hello to FN-2199, or ‘Nines’ as he’s referred to by his Stormtrooper friends. He actually trained with Finn, hence the ‘traitor’ comment hurled at Finn before battle. Where does FN-2199’s origin come from? Why, it’s from the Star Wars anthology book, Before the Awakening, written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Phil Noto; Before the Awakening focuses on the lives of Rey, Finn and Poe before the events of Force Awakens. Anyway, here’s some excerpted Phil Noto art from the aforementioned book showing Nines seated in the background; he’s the one with red hair. Space-ginger?
Now, how did FN-2199 end up with that awesome, intimidating, electrified baton able to maintain its integrity against a matter-slicing lightsaber? Firstly, the baton is called a Z6-Baton; it’s the official weapon of Stormtroopers assigned to riot-control. Yep, FN-2199 is riot-control, and he puts down uprisings and curb-stomps rebel troopers with the help of his trusty, lightsaber-resistant Z6-Baton.
And there you have it; the origin of everyone’s favorite baton-toting meme-doll.
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