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Finn (Star Wars)

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Finn
Star Wars character
John Boyega as Finn [a]
First appearanceThe Force Awakens (2015)
Created by
Portrayed byJohn Boyega
Voiced by
In-universe information
AliasFN-2187 (designation)
Occupation
AffiliationFirst Order
Resistance

Finn (designation FN-2187) is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. He first appears in the 2015 film The Force Awakens as a First Order stormtrooper. Disturbed by the Order's cruelty during his first combat mission, he flees and joins forces with the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron and the scavenger Rey. He is portrayed by John Boyega, who reprises the role in The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Boyega won the BAFTA Rising Star Award for his performance in The Force Awakens.[1] He was also nominated for a Saturn Award for the same performance.[2][3]

Creation and casting[edit]

The idea for Finn's character initially came from one of the film's screenwriters, Lawrence Kasdan. The various writers working on the script were considering basing the leading male character on an archetype, such as a pirate or a merchant marine. Kasdan became angry, accusing the others of "not thinking big." He suggested that the character be a deserting stormtrooper, which is how Finn is depicted in the finished film.[4]

The director of The Force Awakens, J. J. Abrams, sought unknown actors for the leading roles. He wanted audiences to have no preconceptions about a character based on an actor's previous roles.[5] Boyega had impressed Abrams in his film debut in Attack the Block (2011), and was invited to audition for Finn.[6] Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm and one of the producers of The Force Awakens, said that Boyega had been a top candidate for the role since the beginning of the casting process. After auditioning many other actors, including Tom Holland, the filmmakers offered Boyega the role.[7][8]

Finn's stormtrooper designation, FN-2187, is a reference to both Princess Leia's cell number in the original 1977 Star Wars film [e] and to the 1963 Arthur Lipsett short film 21-87.[9][10]

Appearances[edit]

The Force Awakens[edit]

Finn is introduced in The Force Awakens (2015) as a First Order stormtrooper. During his first combat mission on the planet Jakku, he becomes disillusioned with the First Order. He frees the captured Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, and enacts a plan for both of them to escape. They steal a TIE fighter, and during their getaway Poe creates the name "Finn" for his companion, using the first two letters of his First Order designation FN-2187. Moments later, their ship is shot down and crash-lands on Jakku. Finn searches for Poe in the wreckage, but finds only his jacket before the ship is swallowed by a sinkhole. He walks into the desert, and eventually encounters the scavenger Rey and the droid BB-8. The three of them are pursued by the First Order, but manage to escape the planet in the Millennium Falcon. They soon meet Han Solo and Chewbacca, who assert they are the rightful owners of the ship. Han takes them to his friend Maz Kanata, who promises to deliver them to the Resistance. Finn decides to flee the galactic conflict, but changes his mind after the First Order destroys several planets and takes Rey prisoner.

Finn arrives at the Resistance base, where he discovers that Poe is alive. He shares information about the First Order's superweapon, Starkiller Base, and claims he can disable its protective shield. Finn, Han and Chewbacca land on the base and force Phasma—Finn's former commander—to deactivate the shield. As Resistance fighters assault the base, Finn and his companions reunite with Rey, who escaped from captivity. Han is killed by his son, Kylo Ren, who then confronts Finn and Rey in the woods. Finn battles Ren with a lightsaber, but Ren overpowers him and renders him unconscious. Rey takes up the lightsaber and wounds Ren, then escapes Starkiller Base with Chewbacca and the comatose Finn. After the base is obliterated, Rey and Chewbacca bring Finn to the Resistance headquarters for medical care.

The 2015 book Star Wars: Before the Awakening focuses on the lives of Finn, Poe and Rey prior to the events of The Force Awakens.[11]

The Last Jedi[edit]

In The Last Jedi (2017), Finn awakens from his coma and immediately demands to know the whereabouts of Rey. Later, following a deadly First Order attack on the Resistance fleet, Finn decides to board an escape pod to keep both himself and Rey out of danger. Before he climbs aboard, he is found by the maintenance worker Rose Tico. She stuns him and intends to turn him in for desertion, but stops when Finn reveals that the First Order can track their ship through hyperspace. Finn and Rose decide to seek out and disable the tracking device, and are advised by Maz to find an expert code breaker. The duo steal a Resistance ship and journey to Canto Bight, a resort city on Cantonica. They enter a luxurious casino, and Finn is initially entranced by their lavish surroundings. He becomes disillusioned when Rose tells him that many of the people in the casino sell weapons to the First Order. Finn and Rose locate Maz's contact, but are imprisoned for a parking violation. In their cell they meet DJ, a thief and code breaker who offers to help them; they refuse, but he nonetheless liberates them.

Eventually Finn and Rose agree to accept DJ's help. They infiltrate the flagship of Supreme Leader Snoke, but are caught by Phasma. DJ betrays Finn and Rose, and they are sentenced to death. Before they are executed, the ship is thrown into chaos by a Resistance assault. Finn fights with Phasma, who falls to her demise. Finn and Rose then escape to Crait aboard a damaged shuttle. As the First Order prepares to mount an attack on Crait, Finn leads a strike to disable their powerful cannon. Suffering losses, Poe orders a retreat, but Finn flies his speeder towards the cannon, intending to sacrifice himself to destroy it. Rose slams her speeder into his, pushing him out of the blast zone. She tells him that wars are not only about fighting enemies, but also preserving what is precious. She then kisses him before falling unconscious. When Luke Skywalker arrives to distract the First Order, Finn and Poe lead the Resistance off the planet. Finn reunites with Rey and embraces her before boarding the Falcon.

In the video game Star Wars Battlefront II, Finn is a playable character through the The Last Jedi downloadable content. Boyega provides Finn's voice in the game.[12]

The Rise of Skywalker[edit]

In The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Finn and Poe discover that Emperor Palpatine has been resurrected and is marshalling the Final Order, a massive fleet of Star Destroyers built by the Sith Eternal on the planet Exegol. Finn and his companions travel to Pasaana, where they find a clue to the location of a Sith wayfinder—a compass showing the way to Exegol. When Rey realizes that Chewbacca is a prisoner of the First Order, Finn and his friends attempt to rescue the Wookiee. Finn and Poe are captured and are set to be executed, but are rescued by the First Order's General Hux, who reveals that he is aiding the Resistance.

On Kef Bir, the companions encounter a group allied with the Resistance, led by a woman named Jannah. When Jannah reveals to Finn that she is a former stormtrooper like him, Finn suggests that the Force brought them together. Meanwhile, Rey battles with Ren and then leaves in his ship. Finn and Jannah, along with their companions, return to the Resistance base. There, they learn that Leia has died, and that she named Poe acting general. Unable to carry out the responsibility on his own, Poe appoints Finn as his co-general. Using Ren's wayfinder, Rey travels to Exegol and transmits the planet's location to the Resistance. Finn and Poe organize a strike against the Sith Eternal fleet, with Finn and Jannah leading a surface attack to sabotage its navigational system. As the Resistance nears victory, Finn and Jannah are stranded on a Star Destroyer, but are rescued by Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca in the Falcon. During the battle, Finn gains more faith in his intuition and connection to the Force. After returning to base, Finn reunites with Rey and Poe and celebrates the defeat of the First Order among his Resistance companions.

In The Rise of Skywalker, Finn tries to tell Rey something when they are both sinking into quicksand. Later, he refuses to tell her because Poe is listening. J.J. Abrams later confirmed that Finn wanted to tell Rey that he is Force-sensitive.[13] The novelization of the film also mentions Finn's Force-sensitivity.

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special[edit]

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is a 2020 Christmas television special in which Finn, having realized he is Force-sensitive, is now training as a Jedi under Rey. She accidentally hurts his feelings during a training session when she makes him use a wooden lightsaber. She seeks out a path to the World Between Worlds, which allows her to travel through time. Meanwhile, Finn plans to celebrate the Wookiee holiday Life Day with Poe, Jannah, Rose and Lando, as well as Chewbacca and his family. During Rey's travels, she learns from Yoda's spirit that patience and understanding are important when instructing an apprentice; she sees Finn prevent the Life Day tree from falling with his wooden lightsaber. When Rey returns home, she allows Finn to slice the Life Day roast with her lightsaber, but he cuts through the table by mistake.

Characterization[edit]

Boyega described Finn as a character who follows "a bigger calling" by leaving the First Order and embarking on his own journey.[14] He said that Finn finds himself in "an extraordinary circumstance" and is "in over his head".[15] He asserted that Finn's decisions early in the film are "based on adrenaline"; as an example, he said that Finn might suddenly snatch a weapon and then run away.[14] In The Last Jedi, Finn was originally going to travel to Canto Bight with Poe.[16] The film's director, Rian Johnson, realized the dialogue of the two characters was interchangeable, which resulted in what he called a "flat" storyline.[17] He created the character Rose to challenge and contrast with Finn, and made her his companion instead.[18]

Reception[edit]

Both the character Finn and Boyega's portrayal were praised by a number of critics. Brian Truitt of USA Today lauded the dynamic between Finn and Rey, and praised the "seriously clever" dialogue between Finn and Han.[19] Drew McWeeny of HitFix said Boyega has a "great combination of self-interested fear and reluctant heroism that he plays beautifully" and that he expertly "charts Finn's evolution as a person".[20] Robbie Collin wrote in The Telegraph that Boyega has a "would-be-heroic schtick" that is half-brave, half-anxious, and very funny. Collin said that Finn wants to be a "daring freedom-fighter", but is uncertain about his aptitude.[21] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described Finn as "bracingly comic and cunning".[22] Ty Burr of The Boston Globe offered a critical appraisal, calling Finn a "weak link" who "vacillates between noble impulses and cowardice until our interest drops away." He added, "The performance is fine but it's just fine, with little of the iconic bite a Wagnerian cartoon like this needs."[23]

Finn's introduction was met with some racist reactions online, to which Boyega responded, "I'm not going to lose sleep over people." After the first trailer premiered, Boyega responded to critics with, "To whom it may concern ... Get used to it", and further commented that, "All the films I've done have had a secret commentary on stereotypical mentalities. It's about getting people to drop a prejudiced state of mind and realise, 'Oh shit we're just watching normal people.' "[24] In response to those who desired to boycott the film over their disagreements with the existence of a black stormtrooper, Boyega replied, "I'm proud of my heritage, and no man can take that away from me. I wasn't raised to fear people with a difference of opinion. They are merely victims of a disease in their mind."[25]

Some criticized The Rise of Skywalker for its treatment of characters of color, including Finn.[26] In January 2020, an abandoned script for Episode IX was leaked, titled Star Wars: Duel of the Fates and written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Some media sources argued that it gave characters like Finn more to do.[26] In the script, Finn convinces stormtroopers to defect from the First Order and leads them into battle against it.[27][28][29] Concept art of Finn's speech while holding a flag, as well as dialogue from the unmade film, were shared on social media and compared very positively and paralleling a speech given by Boyega during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.[30][31][32] In September 2020, John Boyega publicly criticized The Last Jedi for sidelining characters played by people of color.[33][34][35] In November 2020, he revealed that this led him to have a "very honest conversation" with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who supported his claims.[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Promotional image for The Force Awakens (2015)
  2. ^ Disney Infinity 3.0, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, Star Wars Battlefront II (2017 video game)
  3. ^ Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises
  4. ^ The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
  5. ^ Originally titled Star Wars, the film was later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scott, Sydney (October 27, 2020). "John Boyega Wins BAFTA Award and Goes Straight To Work on Next 'Star Wars'". Essence. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  2. ^ Bryant, Jacob (February 24, 2016). "'Star Wars,' 'Mad Max,' 'Walking Dead' Lead Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  3. ^ Sims, Andrew (February 29, 2016). "Saturn Awards bump 'Star Wars' star John Boyega from Supporting to Lead Actor category after fan backlash". Hypable. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  4. ^ McKnight, Brent (January 22, 2016). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens Writer Reveals How Rey And Finn Came To Be". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Garcia, Patricia (December 15, 2015). "Everything You Need to Know About Star Wars's New Stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley". Vogue. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  6. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (December 9, 2015). "In New 'Star Wars', Daisy Ridley and John Boyega Brace for Galactic Fame". New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Mzimba, Lizo (April 20, 2015). "Star Wars executive 'staggered' by teaser reaction". BBC. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  8. ^ Heching, Dan (December 10, 2021). "Tom Holland Discusses How He Blew His Audition for Star Wars: 'I Just Couldn't Stop Laughing'". People. Retrieved June 16, 2024.
  9. ^ Freer, Ian (December 17, 2015). "FN-2187: why John Boyega's stormtrooper number holds the key to Star Wars". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Wickman, Forrest (December 16, 2015). "The Subtle Reference in The Force Awakens to the Art Film That Inspired Star Wars". Slate. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "A Galaxy of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Books Coming December 18". StarWars.com. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  12. ^ Dwan, Hannah (November 10, 2017). "Star Wars Battlefront 2 is getting Finn and Captain Phasma from The Last Jedi in a free update this December". Telegraph. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  13. ^ Sharf, Zack (March 23, 2020). "The Latest 'Rise of Skywalker' Book Surprise: Rey Knew About Finn's Force Secret". IndieWire. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Prudom, Laura (December 17, 2015). "'Star Wars': John Boyega on Playing a 'Stormtrooper on the Run,' Finn's Bromance With Han Solo". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  15. ^ Kaye, Don (December 11, 2015). "John Boyega Interview: Star Wars Fandom and Finn's Journey". Screen Rant. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  16. ^ Barajas, Henry (February 3, 2018). "Rian Johnson reveals why Poe didn't go to Canto with Finn in The Last". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on July 5, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  17. ^ McCreesh, Louise (February 5, 2018). "Finn and Poe were separated in Star Wars: The Last Jedi because they get along too well". Digital Spy. Hearst UK. National Magazine Company Ltd. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  18. ^ Szostak, Phil (December 15, 2017). The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Abrams Books. p. 111. ISBN 9781419727054.
  19. ^ Truitt, Brian (December 16, 2015). "Review: 'Star Wars' is back in full 'Force'". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  20. ^ McWeeny, Drew (December 16, 2015). "Review: JJ Abrams breathes new life into 'Star Wars' with 'The Force Awakens'". HitFix. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  21. ^ Collin, Robbie (December 18, 2015). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens review: 'the magic is back'". The Daily Telegraph. London, England. Archived from the original on December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Travers, Peter (December 16, 2015). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 21, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  23. ^ Burr, Ty (December 16, 2015). "Launch of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' takes the faithful full circle". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on December 19, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  24. ^ Hobby, Hermoine (December 12, 2015). "John Boyega: storming from Peckham to galactic fame". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  25. ^ Williams, Brennan (December 16, 2015). "John Boyega Silences Critics With His Best Response Yet: The 'Star Wars' actor makes us happy time and time again". Huffington Post. New York City. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  26. ^ a b Perez, Rodrigo (January 14, 2020). "Colin Trevorrow's 'Star Wars' Episode IX' Was Called 'Duel Of The Fates' & It's True, All Of It". The Playlist. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  27. ^ Alter, Ethan (October 21, 2020). "John Boyega reveals Finn's 'Star Wars' storyline that got away: 'That would have been dope, man!'". Yahoo. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  28. ^ Sharf, Zack (October 23, 2020). "John Boyega Would Love to See Finn's Axed 'Star Wars' Storyline Get Told on TV or Animation". IndieWire. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  29. ^ Fiduccia, Christopher (December 6, 2020). "Rey Destroying Kylo's TIE Fighter Happened on Coruscant in Early Concept Art". Screen Rant. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  30. ^ Wars", JoshWilding | 6/4/2020 Filed Under: "Star (June 4, 2020). "STAR WARS: DUEL OF THE FATES Concept Art Shows Finn Leading The Revolution On Coruscant". Comic Book Movie.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  31. ^ "Star Wars: Concept Art for Colin Trevorrow's Duel of the Fates Shows John Boyega's Finn As a Revolutionary". Star Wars. June 4, 2020.
  32. ^ "Finn Leads A Revolution In Concept Art From Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars 9". ScreenRant. June 4, 2020.
  33. ^ "John Boyega: 'I'm the only cast member whose experience of Star Wars was based on their race'". British GQ. September 2, 2020.
  34. ^ agencies, Guardian staff and (September 2, 2020). "Star Wars actor John Boyega says black roles are 'pushed to the side' in franchise". The Guardian.
  35. ^ Lindbergh, Ben (September 11, 2020). "People Keep Picking at My 'Rise of Skywalker' Scab". The Ringer.
  36. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (November 23, 2020). "John Boyega Had A "Transparent, Honest" Phone Call With Kathleen Kennedy After 'Star Wars' Race Comments".

External links[edit]

  • Finn in the StarWars.com Databank