Behind the Mask of FN-2199—the Meme-ified Stormtrooper Known as “TR-8R”
Many memes have been made from the brief appearance of this riot baton-twirling First Order stormtrooper; he’s been named TR-8R after his one line (“Traitor!”), and he even appears in several action figure sets (often paired with Finn, the “traitor” against whom he battles). According to Greg Rucka’s Before the Awakening, his actual identification is FN-2199, and his nickname is “Nines.” More importantly, though, who has the honor of playing this masked man in the movie?
It’s Liang Yang, veteran stunt performer and actor! Here’s his face, via his appearance in The Bible (a 2013 TV mini-series):
That’s yet another Asian actor to potentially add to this list of Asian characters in The Force Awakens. (I wrote about Lu Han’s “honorary Jedi” status earlier today.) Liang Yang does share the role with one other person, though; sound editor David Acord voiced the “Traitor!” line.
Also, the official Star Wars website says that the red-headed stormtrooper on the left in this picture is Nines:
This is sort of like how Jeremy Bulloch wore the suit for Boba Fett, and Jason Wingreen did the voice—so they’re both Boba Fett, in a sense, although neither of them necessarily looks like the artistic representations of Boba Fett without his mask on. Not to mention that many other people have played and voiced the character since his first appearance, although most associate either Bulloch or Wingreen with the role.
So, basically, Liang Yang and David Acord and also this drawing all add up to “be” Nines. If you ask me, though, Liang Yang deserves more credit than he’s given in the Star Wars post about him—he’s mentioned as an afterthought, but he’s the one doing the hardest part! Good job with that Z6 baton, Yang.
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