Warning: Minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens follow.
Dozens of First Order stormtroopers appeared in The Force Awakens, but one in particular made an impression. The riot baton-wielding soldier who recognized Finn in the battle outside of Maz Kanata’s castle and screamed, “Traitor!” has become the subject of memes all over Tumblr. He’s even been nicknamed TR-8R by fans. Some have wondered why he recognized Finn, and it turns out they have a history. Lucasfilm has revealed the identity of TR-8R: He’s known as FN-2199 or “Nines.”
FN-2199 served and trained alongside in the same four-person squad as Finn. This is detailed in the tie-in novel Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka. The book features three pre-The Force Awakens stories starring Finn, Rey, and Poe. Nines is the ginger in the back of this Phil Noto illustration from the book:
FN-2199 carried the Z6 baton in the film because he was part of an elite squad that helped quell riots. Stormtroopers received instruction across the board with different types of weapons in order to round out their training though. Familiarity with the Z6 baton is likely what helped Finn understand the basics of wielding a melee weapon like a lightsaber.
A couple of people helped bring Nines to life. Stunt performer Liang Yang wore the armor and fought John Boyega’s Finn. David Acord, a sound editor at Skywalker Sound, yelled the now famous line.
We also saw another of Finn’s squadmates in The Force Awakens. The trooper who leaves a bloody handprint on Finn’s helmet in the battle on Jakku? That’s FN-2003, a.k.a. Slip.
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