Journal

What is it about TR-8R that makes him so wonderful?


I’ve joined the legions of folks that appear to have fallen for a single Stormtrooper in the latest Star Wars film. If you haven’t seen the movie you’ll want to run away before reading anything after the two images below. I can’t really articulate it, even before I knew other people liked him I was instantly attached. There is a certain level of acting that you very rarely see in film. I saw it in John Lithgow when he played the Trinity Killer in Dexter. I saw it in Vincent D’Onofrio when he played Wilson Fisk in Daredevil. And now, in a fleeting moment of Star Wars 7 I saw it in…well…whoever played TR-8R.

This isn’t his real name, you might know him by WAPPITY. I like to call him the “Fwhip Guy.” But regardless of whoever you know him as the stormtrooper in the featured image above this post. I’ve been so delighted that he’s become something of an internet sensation with tons of really, really good visual gags. A few of my favorites from today:

wappity2

wappity3

The scene is fairly short but entirely intense. Fin finds himself up against a single Stormtrooper wielding one of the coolest weapons I’ve ever seen in a Star Wars film. As a kid I kinda liked the double saber of Darth Maul (which was a fleeting joy, as was true of any good moment in the prequels), but now as a presumed adult I’m really stuck on this lightning baton thing.

If I had 75 dollars to burn...

If I had 75 dollars to burn…

Where most people would book ass the moment a lightsaber turned on, this dude ends up losing his goddamn mind. When he shouts traitor you just feel it. He’s not “acting” like he’s furious, this guy sounds like he’s legitimately out to kill someone. That whole scene just oozes of drama and intensity that puts Kylo Ren to shame. It was one of a few moments in the film where I felt literal chills. So rarely does an actor really capture me. Often I see someone playing a character, so rarely do I see a living breathing person instead. Rather than 2 entities working as one, I see a single unified thing. It becomes such a problem that later I can’t see them as anything else. This actor is lucky they never took off their helmet, because I don’t think they could do anything else and be anything less than TR-8R to me.

John Lithgow will always be the Trinity Killer for me (which is unfortunate, would make meeting him uncomfortable), Vincent D’Onofrio will always be Wilson Fisk to me, and this particular Stormtrooper will be the quintessential antagonist for the new trilogy. He might be dead now, but in his one scene he was more interesting than nearly all the other villains combined. It’s unfortunate since Phasma was supposed to be the new awesome. Our modern Boba Fett…but…comparatively :/. I would have liked them to be in this scene but I’m also glad I got to see this and experience that shout.

Looking forward to it again someday once the film is out for private viewing. Here’s hoping that 8 has another person steal the show. I’m always up for surprise moments in films that wake me up and fill me with a sense of excitement.