Happy Ripoff Day, everybody! How are we today? Already dreading the endless turkey sandwiches? Excellent, that’s what you get for ripping off a Canadian holiday.
But I’m not solely here to berate you about American’s inferiority complex. No, today I want to talk about Finn. You know, the Deuteragonist of the Sequels? The only on-film stormtrooper with a conscience? The best shot in the galaxy, second only to Han?
Yeah, that guy. Join me under the cut!
Finn as The Deuteragonist
Now, I realize that this is going to be a somewhat controversial opinion on the web. A lot of people want Kylo Ren to be the Deuteragonist and I can kind of see why given some of Rian’s comments. However, they are dead wrong. Rian’s comments make Kylo Ren out to be Rey’s Shadow Archetype, her Foil, her Rival. An antagonist, in other words. To continue with the Kung Fu Panda theme from yesterday, Kylo Ren is the Tai Lung/Lord Shen to Rey’s Po. The story, ultimately, isn’t about him, though he affects it in ways both large and subtle.
Another group of fans want to Finn to The Protagonist, the main character of the Sequel Trilogy. And while they’re still wrong, they’re a lot closer to right than the Kylo Ren fans. Much of The Force Awakens revolves around Finn and his choices, more so than they do Rey’s. And Finn is confirmed to have a mighty big chunk of plot dedicated to him in The Last Jedi. And Rian confirmed multiple protagonists in this film on Twitter, specifically naming Finn as one when asked about it by a fan.
But he still isn’t The Protagonist. Why? Because he isn’t Anakin’s Heir. That’s Rey, confirmed both by Anakin’s lightsaber and the fact that she, and she alone, takes the journey to Luke to become a Knight of the Jedi Order. That’s always been the central part of the Star Wars myth and the fact that Finn doesn’t take that up pretty clearly shows where he fits in the story.
So, Finn is our Deuteragonist. He’s the second actor, the other main character whose journey the Sequels revolve around. Everything in the next few movies revolves around either him or Rey and their choices. Even, yes, the fate of Kylo Ren.
Finn as Han’s Successor
Yes, Rey is the one who got the Falcon and is unquestionably the pilot of the two. That said, it is Finn who is Han’s Heir, and not Rey.
The first and most obvious reason being that Rey is already taking up the Skywalker Legacy, and her having take up Han’s too would be a little unfair.
But the second and more important reason is that Finn has the most similar role to Han from the original trilogy. He has absolutely no interest in the fight against the First Order/Empire (albeit for different reasons. Han because all he cares about at first is his own neck, Finn ’cause he’s pretty sure the First Order is invincible) he’s hands-down the best shot with a blaster out of the new trio (don’t believe me? Go watch the Takodana battle scene. As soon as he gets his hand on a blaster, he’s pratically invincible) and when the chips are down and his best (and only one of two) friend is in danger, he mounts up and starts kicking ass. And finally, his arc in The Last Jedi has been confirmed to be all about finding a reason to stay in the Resistance, damned near identical to Han’s in Empire.
The third reason is much more subtle, but it is just as important. The thing is, we tend to forget that Han also bonded quickly with Finn, dispensing sage advice, especially about women, and Finn was just as devastated as Rey when Han died. His defiant ‘Bring it!’ to Kylo Ren is as much about his rage over Han’s death as it is his anger and worry over Rey. Han, based on his friendship with Finn, would have very much approved of the young man taking a role on the Falcon, even just as a gunner. And especially as Rey’s boyfriend, given some of his comments.
Is Finn Force-Sensitive?
Jesus Christ, but I hate this question. Why? Because it demonstrates the fundamental misunderstanding of The Force that all Star Wars fans seem to have.
Here’s the thing: everybody in Star Wars is Force-sensitive to greater and lesser degrees. Here are some opinions on the subject:
Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.-Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope.
Life creates it, makes it grow. It’s energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you! Between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship.-Yoda, Empire Strikes Back.
I am no Jedi, but I know the Force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. -Maz Kanata
I’m going to leave out Qui-Gon Jinn’s comments on the subject because they’re even more misunderstood than The Force usually is. But the point is, The Force is a fundamental part of the Star Wars universe. Life, literally, cannot exist without it. It’s not a book of spells or some kind of artifact: it’s Life Itself.
So everybody is Force-Sensitive. But then how do we tell the difference between Jedi/Sith/Knights of Ren and average Joes? Well, Darth Vader gives us the answer here:
The Force is strong with this one-Darth Vader, A New Hope
Comb through the films, The Clone Wars and Rebels, you’ll never find a question of Force sensitivity. The only question is, is the Force strong with you?
And I think it is with Finn. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll take up a lightsaber on a permanent basis; like Leia, he might choose a different path.
Finn as a Foil to Kylo Ren
Obviously, Kylo’s actions are being primarily contrasted against Rey and her actions. However, I think Finn is also a fantastic foil to Kylo.
- Kylo had a loving, if imperfect, family. Finn was abducted from his.
- Both are, in a sense, traitors. Kylo Ren betrayed his family and murdered his fellow Jedi. Finn, upon realising just how evil the First Order was, deserted and joined up with their enemies.
- Related to the above, Kylo Ren chose evil. Finn chose to reject evil.
- Both were brainwashed and manipulated. Kylo can’t or won’t overcome his brainwashing. Finn did.
- Kylo’s a fallen Jedi. Finn’s a Mook learning to be a Hero.
- Kylo’s story is ultimately tragic. Finn’s is ultimately triumphant.
- There’s also their relationship with Rey. Kylo’s is creepy as all hell, while Finn’s is positive all the way.
Finnrey all the way!
All right, let’s get this out of the way: Rian Johnson has confirmed no plot-central romances in The Last Jedi. That puts the kibosh on any and all romances involving the main characters, be it Finnrey, Finnpoe, Finnrose (Jesus, but does this guy get all the ships or what? He’s as bad as Batman!) or Reylo. That doesn’t mean one or the other won’t happen eventually, but it does mean that none of them are happening now. That being said, I think we’re going to get Finnrey in the end. Of the trilogy, guys. Keep that in mind.
- Finn keeps grabbing Rey’s hand and Rey keeps telling him to knock it off. Before Twilight came along and ruined everybody’s idea of romance forever (although, given how often and how badly the abusive relationship between Padmé/Anakin was misunderstood to be just a badly written romance, maybe it isn’t all Twilight’s fault.) there was this. The good guy in a Boy’s Adventure series (and he has to be good. And it has to be a Boy’s Adventure. Girl’s Adventure, or even a more Gender-Neutral Adventure, are different genres with different rules. Perfectly valid, but a little more like MLP:FiM than Star Wars) is a little overprotective of his badass Action Girlfriend and constantly tries to protect her, while the Action Girlfriend constantly snarks at him and proves she doesn’t need his help. It’s not condescending, like with Edward, but it is motivated by the boy’s fundamental goodness and need to protect others. Can be seen in a lot of eighties cartoons and children’s literature.
- Finn is obviously shown as Rey’s first, and damn near only, human friend. In fact, aside from Han, Rey doesn’t really interact with any other humans in The Force Awakens. Let’s see, there’s a hug from Leia and Kylo kidnaps and tortures her. Oh, and there’s that one stormtrooper she mind tricks.
- He lies to Rey about being in the Resistance in order to impress her. Later, she is also the first and only person he confesses that lie to. He never comes clean with Han (who had already figured it out at any rate) and Leia already knew from Poe.
- In the Falcon, he and Rey have a moment where they introduce themselves that is so insufferably cute it damn near gave the audience diabetes. And there’s that moment where Finn asks if Rey has a ‘cute boyfriend.’ Either he’s gay or interested in Rey, folks. Or both. There’s not a whole lot of ways you can interpret that.
- Finn flat out lies to the Resistance in order to rescue Rey, putting himself in harm’s way.
- He also reacts extremely negatively to Kylo Ren kidnapping Rey in the first place.
- He screams ‘Bring It!’ against Kylo, in large part due to being pissed off about what Kylo’s done to Rey.
- The very thing Finn says when he wakes up from his coma is Rey’s name. Later, when talking with Poe, Finn has only one question: where’s Rey?
Yes, I know about Daisy and John’s comments. However, two things: one, it’s ambiguous whether or not they’re talking about their relationship in The Force Awakens or going forward. And Rian’s already confirmed that there’s no plot central romance in The Last Jedi. So their comments aren’t terribly relevant: we aren’t getting Finnrey here anyway.
The second thing is, these comments, trailers and interactions clearly point that Rey is just about the most important person in Finn’s life, with Poe coming a close second.
So if not Finnrey as an OTP, then most definitely Finnrey as the BroTP. ‘Cause that one’s already canon.
Sorry guys. This one’s definitely been debunked. However, Finn and Poe shall definitely continue their bromance throughout the film. That’s been confirmed multiple times.
Nope. Not in this film, anyway. And probably not in IX; Rose is Rian’s character and it’s JJ who’s directing IX.