Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrived, many hipster fans would declare Admiral Ackbar or Nien Nunb their favorite character just to stray off the familiar path from the main group of heroes and villains. Also because it was 'cool' to align with these secondary, yet very important, figures. Now, a new character with perhaps less screen time than either of those two has become all the rage. And as with anything on the Internet, he has sparked a torrent of memes and fan art. He's a very loyal Stormtrooper, and he's even been given his own name.
In the week's leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma was being positioned as the new Boba Fett character of this latest trilogy. That mantel has been snaked away by a Stormtrooper who has become known as TR-8R online, the unofficial name of Finn's most dangerous foe. Though he wears the same white uniform as his fellow soldiers, you will recognize him as the First Order Trooper who calls Finn out during the raid on Maz Kanata's castle.
TR-8R yells 'Traitor!' at Finn upon spotting him during the battle, thus where his new nickname comes from. He gets one of the coolest scenes in the movie, fighting off Finn's lightsaber attack with a riot control baton and a little dance. Heading into Star Wars: The Force Awakens' third week of release, TR-8R is the hottest thing going from the movie. It isn't known if Finn and TR-8R had a previous relationship, but he takes Finn's desertion very personally. And apparently wants to be the man to bring the AWOL Stormtrooper to justice.
While many have wondered how TR-8R's shield and armor can withstand a Lightsaber attack, it is actually a gun blast from Han Solo that takes him down. Some speculate that he was only injured, and may recover to return in Star Wars: Episode VIII. The Internet has mostly glommed onto TR-8R's loyalty to the First Order, something that is becoming a rolling joke on social media.
TR-8R has certainly taken on a life of his own, with plenty of memes emerging in the past couple of weeks. And many believe that this character is way cooler than Captain Phasma, which has to disappoint a few of the crew members who worked so hard to bring Gwendoline Christie's character to life. While TR-8R probably won't be his given name, the popularity of the character will surely have some folks at LucasFilm thinking of ways to reincorporate him into the overall canon. Perhaps he'll get his own one-off Marvel comic book?
Hot Toys is releasing a First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper and Finn action figure set, which isn't expected to arrive until June or August. It will only set you back $359. You can pre-order HERE. And there is a Black Series action figure from Hasbro that is available at Target right now. Check out some of the best memes and fan art that have been appearing as of late.