Finn (Star Wars)

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Finn
FN-2187
Star Wars character
Finn-Force Awakens (2015).png
Promotional photo of John Boyega as Finn from The Force Awakens
First appearance The Force Awakens (2015)
Created by
Portrayed by John Boyega[2]
Voiced by
Information
Nickname(s) Eight-Seven
Aliases FN-2187 (designation)
Gender Male
Occupation
Affiliation First Order (formerly)
The Resistance

Finn, designation number FN-2187, is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. He first appeared in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens in which he is a stormtrooper for the First Order who flees and turns against it after being shocked by their cruelty in his first combat mission. He is played by British actor John Boyega, who will reprise the role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Casting and creation[edit]

The idea for the character Finn came from Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Colleague Michael Arndt, who had prepared an early draft of The Force Awakens, revealed:

And then we were struggling to figure out who the male lead was going to be. I remember we talked about pirates and merchant marines and all this stuff, and finally Larry [Kasdan] got pissed at all of us and he's just like, "You guys, you're not thinking big. What if he's a stormtrooper that ran away?[5]

For the roles of Finn and other new Star Wars characters for The Force Awakens, director J. J. Abrams intentionally looked for unknown actors, as he wanted audiences “to meet these characters [in the film] and not feel like it’s him from that thing, it’s her from that thing.”[6] Boyega, who had impressed Abrams in his debut role in British sci-fi film Attack the Block (2011), was invited to audition for the role of Finn,[7] a process which lasted seven months before he was finally cast.[8] Kathleen Kennedy, one of the producers of The Force Awakens, stated:

John Boyega was somebody we'd known of because of Attack the Block. And we'd been sort of putting him on the top of our list right from the beginning. But, then again, we went on a massive search just to see who was out there, and we kept coming back to realizing that John would be the perfect Finn.[9]

Finn's stormtrooper code name, FN-2187, is a reference to the number of the cell in which Princess Leia was detained in the original 1977 film Star Wars.[10] "Cell 2187," in turn, references Arthur Lipsett's short film 21-87, which reportedly inspired George Lucas to make the film THX 1138.

Abrams stated that it was intentional that Finn was given no last name in promotional materials for The Force Awakens, indicating that his full name and background would be revealed in future films, the film itself revealed "Finn" to be an adopted name.[11]

Appearances[edit]

The Force Awakens (2015)[edit]

Finn is a First Order stormtrooper serving under Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren, his codename "FN-2187" beginning as the only name he knows for himself. He was taken from his family when very young and has spent his entire life training to serve as a soldier.

Participating in a mission to the planet Jakku to retrieve information about the location of Luke Skywalker, he is horrified when Ren orders him to massacre civilians, an order his team follows without question. Phasma and Ren both notice his inability to kill, and Phasma instructs him to report for reconditioning to better follow her orders. Wanting to flee the First Order, he gets the captured Resistance pilot Poe Dameron to help him escape by piloting a TIE Fighter. While piloting, Poe dubs FN-2187 "Finn", which the otherwise nameless stormtrooper embraces and decides to refer to himself, the TIE Fighter is shot down and crashes on Jakku, and Finn assumes Poe to be dead once the wreckage of the ship disappears into a sinkhole, unaware that Poe had already been thrown clear.

Poe's astromech droid BB-8, now in the care of the junk scavenger Rey, recognizes the jacket that Finn is wearing belongs to Poe. Rey assumes Finn to be a member of the Resistance after mentioning that BB-8 has a partially completed map leading to the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Finn goes along with her mistaken assumption, hoping that she will help him get BB-8 to the Resistance, the three of them escape the First Order on the Millennium Falcon with help from Han Solo and Chewbacca. Han takes them to his friend Maz Kanata on Takodana, who promises to take them to the Resistance. Finn decides to continue to flee the galactic conflict, but changes his mind when the First Order attacks the New Republic and Ren's forces find them and take Rey prisoner.

Finn flies to the Resistance base, where he discovers that Poe is still alive and meets General Leia Organa, C-3PO, and the hibernating R2-D2. Finn reveals some details about the First Order's superweapon, Starkiller Base, and claims to be able to disable their shields. When he arrives on the planet with Han and Chewbacca, however, Finn reveals that he only worked in the base's sanitation section. Nevertheless, the team takes Phasma hostage and Finn forces her at gunpoint to disable the shields, this allows the Resistance to attack, led by Poe. They meet up with Rey, who has freed herself from captivity. Han confronts and is killed by Ren, but the remainder of the team continues on to escape. Ren confronts Finn and Rey in the woods, claiming that their fight is not over. Finn tries to fight Ren with Luke and Anakin Skywalker's old lightsaber, but Ren bests him in combat and seriously wounds him. Rey then takes the lightsaber and defeats Ren. Rey and Chewbacca escape Starkiller Base in the Millennium Falcon and bring Finn, still unconscious, to the Resistance base for medical care.

Related works and merchandising[edit]

Finn is featured in Star Wars: Before the Awakening (2015) by Greg Rucka, an anthology book for young readers that focuses on the lives of Poe, Rey and Finn before the events of The Force Awakens.[12] Finn is also a point of view character in the 2015 novelization of The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster.[13]

Finn is a playable character in Disney Infinity 3.0, voiced by Boyega.[14]

The Last Jedi (2017)[edit]

Finn is set to appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with Boyega reprising his role.

Character[edit]

When asked about Finn's character traits, Boyega replied,

I think the element of having to step up to a bigger calling, when your circumstances don't particularly reflect that, because I'm young, at the beginning of my life; you haven't really achieved much, and then you have to do that whole adulthood thing, get responsible, work and all of that stuff, no more mommy and daddy taking care of things. I feel like it's the same kind of journey that Finn has when he leaves the First Order, he leaves a curriculum, he leaves a system and embarks on his own journey.

He also noted that initially "most of his decisions are based on adrenaline. Like, 'Okay, you know what? I'm just going to get this blaster and run away.' "[15] Boyega further noted that "[n]ot only is the character in over his head and someone who is just dropped into an extraordinary circumstance, the scenes and the script prove that and it's not a problem that can just be erased."[16]

Reception[edit]

Finn received critical acclaim and Boyega was praised for his portrayal. Reviewer Jamie Graham wrote, "of the new triangle of characters, Boyega brings intensity and a surprisingly honed comic timing."[17] Reviewers also praised Finn's relationships with the other characters of the film.

The dynamic between Rey and Finn is something new for Star Wars, with her bright-eyed heroism complementing Boyega's roguish wit...Gone is the clunky dialogue of the prequels—instead, it's replaced by some seriously clever writing that often leads to nice little moments, many with Han and Finn.[18]

Drew McWeeny of HitFix notes, "Boyega has this great combination of self-interested fear and reluctant heroism that he plays beautifully, and he charts Finn's evolution as a person expertly here."[19] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described the character as "bracingly comic and cunning".[20] Robbie Collin writes that Boyega has a "(very funny) half-brave, half-anxious, would-be-heroic schtick" and notes that despite being "brave, charming, and funny", Finn "only wants to be thought of as the daring freedom-fighter he's not quite sure he's cut out to be."[21] Some reviewers were less than positive, however. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe wrote that "Boyega's Finn is the new movie's one weak link, a character who vacillates between noble impulses and cowardice until our interest drops away. The performance is fine but it's just fine, with little of the iconic bite a Wagnerian cartoon like this needs."[22]

The character was also subject to racist reactions by some fans 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.' "[23] 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."[24]

In 2016, Boyega was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Finn.[25]

See also[edit]

  • 21-87, a short film that influenced George Lucas and is referenced in several of his films.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pulver, Andrew (October 25, 2013). "Decoding the 'Star Wars' Writers' Drama". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  2. ^ Oswald, Anjelica (December 8, 2015). "Meet John Boyega, the 23-year-old 'Star Wars' star who's having his hollywood breakthrough". Business Insider. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ Arif S. Kinchen [@arifskinchen] (May 5, 2016). "Did YOU see "Attack Of The Conscience" for @LEGO @StarWars : The Resistance Rises" last night? I played #FINN" (Tweet). Retrieved November 3, 2016 – via Twitter. 
  4. ^ Prudom, Laura (December 17, 2015). "'Star Wars': John Boyega on Playing a 'Stormtrooper on the Run,' Finn's Bromance With Han Solo". Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Garcia, Patricia (December 15, 2015). "Everything You Need to Know About Star Wars’s New Stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley". Vogue. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ McKnight, Brent (September 23, 2015). "John Boyega's Star Wars Auditions Took An Insane Amount Of Time". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ Mzimba, Lizo (April 20, 2015). "Star Wars executive 'staggered' by teaser reaction". BBC. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Prudom, Laura (December 7, 2015). "Star Wars Actor John Boyega on Finn's Past: 'I've Got Some Conspiracy Theories'". Variety. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ "A Galaxy of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Books Coming December 18". StarWars.com. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ Foster, Alan Dean (2015). "Chapter I". The Force Awakens (e-book). ISBN 9781101965504. 
  14. ^ Valdes, Giancarlo (December 9, 2015). "Disney Infinity’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens lets John Boyega play with himself". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  15. ^ Prudom, Laura (December 17, 2015). "'Star Wars': John Boyega on Playing a 'Stormtrooper on the Run,' Finn's Bromance With Han Solo". Variety. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ Kaye, Don (December 11, 2015). "John Boyega Interview: Star Wars Fandom and Finn's Journey". Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ Graham, Jamie (December 16, 2015). "TOTAL FILM'S STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS". GamesRadar. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  18. ^ Truitt, Brian (December 16, 2015). "Review: 'Star Wars' is back in full 'Force'". USA Today. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  19. ^ McWeeny, Drew (December 16, 2015). "Review: JJ Abrams breathes new life into 'Star Wars' with 'The Force Awakens'". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  20. ^ Travers, Peter (December 16, 2015). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  21. ^ Collin, Robbie (December 18, 2015). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens review: 'the magic is back'". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  22. ^ Burr, Ty (December 16, 2015). "Launch of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' takes the faithful full circle". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  23. ^ Hobby, Hermoine (December 12, 2015). "John Boyega: storming from Peckham to galactic fame". The Guardian. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  24. ^ 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. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  25. ^ "The 42nd Annual Saturn Awards nominations are announced for 2016!". Saturn Awards. February 24, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 

External links[edit]