TK-462 was the operating number of a human male Imperial stormtrooper. A native of the planet Eriadu, he enlisted in an Imperial Junior Academy against his father's wishes following the death of his younger sister Xea at the hands of rebels during a botched attempt to steal air scrubbers from the farm his family worked on. After graduating with ease from the Junior Academy, he trained at the Imperial Academy of Eriadu in Eriadu City where he was relentlessly mistreated by his instructor Commander Lassar. The commander had the cadet's squadmates regularly beat him and forced him to complete a five kilometer run with shattered glass in his boots, after which TK-462 had to rest for two weeks and have his feet reconstructed.
Despite this, TK-462 graduated as a stormtrooper, one of the elite shock troops of the Galactic Empire's Imperial Army. He was initially stationed on Eriadu, catching petty criminals with his squad within the fashion district of Eriadu City; however, when the call was given for more troopers to be sent to the planet Lothal to fight rebels there, TK-462 volunteered himself and left his homeworld for the first time. On Lothal, the stormtrooper found his orders becoming more and more morally ambiguous as he was commanded to burn villages in the name of the Empire. After his squad was tasked with capturing a group of kyber crystal thieves, his captain began executing civilians in a resettlement village—where the criminals were thought to be hiding—in the hopes of drawing them out. Fighting broke out after TK-462 shot a man who had emerged from his home with a blaster rifle, and in the chaos the dead man's daughter took up her father's weapon and shot TK-462, causing a fatal wound.
The human male who would eventually receive the designation of TK-462 in the Imperial Army's Stormtrooper Corps was born twenty-six years before the Battle of Yavin, and grew up on an air scrubber farm on the planet Eriadu with his parents. When he was four, his mother gave birth to his younger sister Xea but then passed away by the time her son had turned twelve. TK-462 and Xea would play on the farm while their father worked, pretending the fields of air scrubbers was a forest or army of droids depending on what game they were playing.
When TK-462 was twelve he allowed Xea to sleep in his bed one night when she felt ill. While they slept a group of rebels began raiding the farm and attempted to steal several of the air scrubbers by pulling them away with tow cables on their starships. TK-462's father began firing on the vessels with a blaster in an attempt to stop the theft, and this woke TK-462 who was drawn outside by the noise. As the boy watched, one of the air scrubbers came loose from the ground but was still held by a power conduit, which his father started firing at in an attempt to free the machine and prevent it falling back to earth if something went wrong. His efforts were in vain however, as the rebel's tow cable soon snapped causing the scrubber to plummet back to earth through the roof of TK-462's bedroom, fatally crushing Xea in bed.
Later that year, former governor of Eriadu Wilhuff Tarkin became Grand Moff and introduced far stricter laws to the world. Due to Tarkin's reign, Eriadu became safe enough that TK-462's father allowed him to travel to the nearby city of Phelar alone. Sometime after Xea's death, Tarkin visited the family's air scrubber farm. The Imperial spoke to TK-462's father, but the boy was far more interested in the stormtroopers that accompanied Tarkin. When TK-462 asked his father to allow him to enlist, his father refused, having already lost two members of his family; however, TK-462 ignored this refusal, and once he was of age, snuck out at night to join the Empire, leaving only a note behind for his father.
Training on EriaduEdit
TK-462 enlisted at the Junior Academy in Phelar and graduated with his entire class of seven after a year with ease, as the local authority were keen to provide as many local recruits as possible to the Empire. TK-462 was not surprised when his father did not attend the graduation ceremony, but was disappointed when he was also absent at the spaceport when the trooper's transport left for the Imperial Academy of Eriadu. At the academy, TK-462 was assigned to Commander Lassar, a retired clone trooper instructor who immediately to a disliking to the boy due to his short height. From the cadet's first day at the academy, Lassar had all of TK-462's squadmates beat him in bed every morning until he stopped moving. After about a week of the daily beatings, his squadmates began pulling their punches and TK-462 began feigning some of the pain Lassar expected to see. When new recruits arrived at the end of the first year, Lassar failed to find anyone he hated more than TK-462 amongst them, and so continued the beatings into the next year.
A couple of weeks before TK-462's graduation, Lassar gave a toast to all his students just before they were scheduled to run five kilometers in full gear. At the end of the toast he alone drank a glass of emerald-colored wine and then smashed the glass with his foot. He then picked up the shards and ordered TK-462 to remove his boots, placing the shattered glass inside and then having the trooper put them back on. TK-462 then managed to complete the run despite the shards, but blacked out after crossing the finishing line. He awoke in the academy's infirmary after having his feet reconstructed, and was informed that he was to rest for two weeks but had successfully made the rank of stormtrooper.
Serving the EmpireEdit
After graduating, TK-462 was assigned to the patrol district five of Eriadu's capital Eriadu City, which was considered the fashion district. There he and his squadmates spent their time arresting shoplifters and other petty criminals; however, when word got around that the Empire needed more troops to combat rebels on the planet Lothal, TK-462 requested a transfer in order to finally avenge his sister. He was again disappointed not to see his father as he boarded the transport off world, and vomited as soon as his ship left Eriadu's atmosphere as he had never traveled in space before.
On Lothal, TK-462 was assigned to a stormtrooper captain who had grown up as a nerf-herder and frequently used comparisons to nerf herding in order to explain tactics to his troops. The trooper's assignments on Lothal included burning at least one small village and four years before the Battle of Yavin, his squad was sent to recover a shipment of stolen kyber crystals. The stormtroopers managed to find it before lunch, as it had been dumped near a resettlement village after the thieves panicked at encountering checkpoints on every road in the area.
After eating, TK-462 and his squadmates traveled into the village to find the culprits, and upon arriving the captain pulled a Rodian shopkeeper out into the village center and threatened to kill him on the count of three unless the thieves gave themselves up. After no one came forward, the captain killed the Rodian and then grabbed a human woman, beginning his count again. As he counted, a human male ran out of a nearby building with a blaster, prompting TK-462 to shoot him. After the man fell, his young daughter exited the building that he had come from and tried to shake his corpse awake, laying down beside her father when she could not raise him.
Chaos then broke out as others in the village attacked, and TK-462 turned to locate a squadmate who had called for aid. In the moment that he turned however, the young girl brought up her father's rifle and shot the stormtrooper. Knowing that the wound was fatal, TK-462 collapsed to his knees and blood began filling his armor. He removed his helmet and stared up at the girl who had killed him, and recognized the same hatred in her face that he felt the day his sister had died. Knowing that one day the girl would grow up to kill Imperials for the Alliance to Restore the Republic as revenge for her father, he felt a strange pride overcome him, and in his final moments grinned at the girl before succumbing to his wound.
Personality and traitsEdit
As a child, TK-462 and his sister were not bothered by the ugliness of the farm they grew up on, treating it as a playground and spending all of their time together while their father worked. While she was still alive, his mother taught him the importance of understanding the world around him, and as such he had a relatively proficient understanding of physics by the time he was twelve. When Xea died, a deep hatred for rebels was born within TK-462, and he became determined to enlist with the Galactic Empire in order to kill them. During his training he was driven enough by his determination to serve the Empire and kill rebels that he managed to graduate despite all of Lassar's bullying. During the run that the instructor made him complete with glass shards in his boots, spite for the commander got him through the first five hundred meters, with focus and determination getting him through another three steps. After that he felt as if the pain overwhelmed his brain and he completed the rest on autopilot, not even remembering crossing the finishing line when he later recovered.
While capturing petty criminals on Eriadu was not what TK-462 had signed up with the Empire for, he was still satisfied with serving the Empire and preventing crime, especially enjoying it when shoplifters tried to flee. The trooper was troubled by not seeing his father again before he left Eriadu, feeling that there were many things he had never said to the man, and regretting that goodbye was one of them. He enjoyed being deployed on Lothal, feeling that the hardships that the planet's people had suffered made them more genuine, and considering his squadmates there good people. He began to become slightly disillusioned with his work however, having expected morality to be more black and white but finding it increasingly grey as he was ordered to burn villages for the greater good of the Empire. Despite these doubts he always followed orders and took no issue with his captain executing civilians in order to draw out the kyber crystal thieves. Instead of despair he felt pride when he was fatally wounded on Lothal, knowing that he had started the girl who killed him on the same path in life that he had taken, only on the opposite side of the Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "If I had the choice of all the characters in the Star Wars universe, I would probably still pick my TK."
- ―Sylvain Neuvel
TK-462 appeared as the titular character of the short story "TK-462", which was published in Star Wars Insider 166 in 2016 with illustrations by Drew Baker. The stories author Sylvain Neuvel was also interviewed by James Andrew Rosen for the issue of Insider and stated in the interview that he wished he could have fleshed out TK-462's life and character more but did not have space, lamenting that the stormtrooper never even got a girlfriend.
The dates for both Xea and TK-462's deaths were provided by Neuvel on Twitter; however, since Xea's death occurs in the same year as Wilhuff Tarkin's promotion to Grand Moff, Neuvel's approximate date of eleven years before the Battle of Yavin contradicts the novel Tarkin which states that the promotion occurs fourteen years before the Battle of Yavin. This article assumes that the novel instead of the tweet is correct, but still uses the date provided by tweet for TK-462's death.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 "TK-462"—Star Wars Insider 166
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 As stated in TK-462, the protagonist was twelve in the year that Wilhuff Tarkin was promoted to Grand Moff. According to the novel Tarkin, this occurred 14 years before the Battle of Yavin. Therefore, the birth of the protagonist must have taken place around 26 years before that battle.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 TK-462 timeline. Sylvain Neuvel (June 17, 2016, 2:28 pm). Retrieved on June 17, 2016, 2:43 pm. "It takes place just before A New Hope (From 14 BBY to (very) approx. 4 BBY, if you're into Star Wars timelines)." (screenshot)
- ↑ Tarkin