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ST John Boyega (Finn) in the ST

Discussion in 'Sequel Trilogy' started by Momotaros, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 12, 2011
    I think them not humanizing the stormtroopers after having one as one of the main characters in a trilogy is one of the biggest missed opportunity of the ST for me. Especially if they decide to humanize them in ancillary materials like they did with the clone army in TCW. TLJ's junior novelization mentioned Finn had one regret: not convincing other troopers to do the same. There is also a comparison with the Jedi order and the clone army who took children from their families and raised them as warriors which I don't agree with since the Jedi gives parents a choice while they didn't. Though, to be fair this was from Hux's POV, unreliable narrator and all that.

    I was a little disappointed it took Finn two whole movies to commit to fighting with the Resistance but I liked the relationships he built with Rey, Finn and Rose the most. His arc in TLJ was to stop selfishly caring only about Rey and to think about the bigger picture while Rose had to stop hero worshiping Finn. I didn't like that he didn't have a single interaction with Rey aside from the hug after the focus on them both in TFA, I feel like their relationship didn't evolve beyond the fact that now he care about more people hence why I think there will be no romance between them, plus there is Rose's kiss to think about.
     
    Lulu Mars likes this.
  2. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Isn't it actually canon from the movie? There's a scene where Phasma is analyzing Finn's profile to understand why he escaped and she states that there were no signs he'd react like this after a first mission because his performance during training was very promising? There's definitely an impression that this was Finn's first mission of this nature.
    And I agree that to someone of military training, there is (or should be) a difference between killing other military targets in combat and killing civilians.
    Star Wars doesn't "deep dive" on PTSD and trauma. Luke killed millions in the Death Star. Biggs apparently joined the academy as a stepping stone to being recruited by the Rebel Alliance. It is what it is.
     
  3. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2016
    I think it shows how much of an ass-pull Finn's story in TLJ is when it can only be phrased as "Finn stops selfishly caring about other people."
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  4. Oissan

    Oissan Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2001
    There's also the line by him to Rey before he is leaving which kind of confirms this:

    That's not what the post says, so why act as if it does?
     
  5. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

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    Jun 12, 2011
    Where did I say that?
     
  6. godisawesome

    godisawesome Skywalker Saga Undersheriff star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2010
    I think it’s an extrapolation formed by people who found something “off” about TLJ’s portrayal of Finn’s flaws there; there’s just a lot of ways for someone who doesn’t like Finn’s arc in TLJ to ridicule even the basic concept in some fashion. *No one* defending TLJ’s Finn story has ever said that TLJ’s lesson for Finn was “Finn stops selfishly caring for other people”... but the actual TLJ premise for Finn’s arc is weak enough to fall prey to such comparisons.

    I mean, inherently, TLJ is trying to walk a tight-rope in defining Finn’s flaw: that he’s not cowardly for his own skin, but is somewhat selfishly willing to abandon the Resistance to try and save Rey from what e thinks is a hopeless situation. There’s a lot of suppositions and caveats in this idea that can strike doubters pretty badly and doom the entire concept pretty quickly:

    - On an emotional level, the audience is being asked to view a major highlight and positive from TFA in a more negative light ; even executing the idea perfectly isn’t going to endear it to some fans of TFA.
    - On a starting level, the film is also presuming that Finn *cannot* have already moved on to the big picture during TFA, so it’s going to insist on a literal yet expansive reading of Finn’s “I’m just here for Rey” line and for downplaying and dismissing the circumstances of Finn running back to Han and prioritize the mission above Rey on SKB. Not exactly the most graceful and organic move.
    - On an execution level, the film also moves through the broad strokes and general arc very quickly; Finn’s effectively made the transition to big picture, “fight for the Resistance” level thinking when he agrees to go on the Canto Bight mission mere minutes after his “flaw” was introduced and it certainly seems completely wrapped up well before they reach the Supremacy. It’s just not a very long and drawn out plot at all, which can make it feel superfluous and unnecessary.
    - On yet another execution level... Finn’s decision that Rey shouldn’t come back to the ship because it’s doomed and unsafe for her needs to be proven wrong in order for his decision to be wrong. And that means the concept is relying on... the kriffin’ stupid Space Chase, and the heated argument that Holdo is written as a competent commander. Every flaw people find with the Space Chase and Holdo’s story thus makes Finn look like he was making an intelligent decision, aka, the exact opposite of the story's intention.

    The entire excercise can make the character arc for Finn seem false in some way. And thus, you get guys who say the film’s message for Finn doesn’t make sense and is contradictory (I.e, “Finn stops selfishly caring for other people”) or one slike mine: I feel like Rian Johnson’s message was “Finn cares about Rey too much, Rey doesn’t care about Kylo enough, and Kylo is beautiful just the way he is!”
     
  7. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2016
    The same thing happens with Poe, if I'm being honest. The film is trying to tell us that his decision to fight at the beginning was a mistake but that was easily the best decision anyone made in the entire film up to when they reached Crait. Then, in an attempt to make the audience believe he somehow learned from whatever his mistake was in the beginning, he attempts to destroy a target with means that are entirely unsuitable to destroying it. He caused more needless casualties on Crait than he ever did in the beginning yet we're expected to believe he learned something.

    Nothing about what his choice in the opening of the film is proven wrong, which makes everything Holdo does and the relative inaction of Leia laughable. It's not what the story intended but it sure happens anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  8. godisawesome

    godisawesome Skywalker Saga Undersheriff star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Dec 14, 2010
    I’d actually argue that a quicker but much more nuanced character arc for Poe could have been done just using the opening fight against the Dreadnaught and cutting out most of the rest of his subplot... and giving that time and significance to Finn’s story.

    Leia could have chewed out and demoted Poe for the loss of all the bomber-wing’s personnel, pointing out that they were all capable of pulling out with their own hyperdrives when she ordered him back. Just having her make him face the number of people who died killing the Dreanaught and having Issac act out that hurt could have done 90% of RJ’s intended arc further character in just the first half of the film.

    Now, this does mean you’d probably have to ditch most of the Space Chase, play Holdo in a more straight-forward manner where her being competent is never obfuscated or gambled on with dubious characterization choices for dramatic reasons... and probably reworking Finn’s entire story’s context... which I’d be totally okay with.
     
  9. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 3, 2016
    That basically shows why I hate the way it transpires in the first place. It not only impacts Poe terribly but virtually every other character involved with him like Leia and Holdo. It's why one often comes to the conclusion that half the entire film should have been scrapped and rewritten.
     
  10. godisawesome

    godisawesome Skywalker Saga Undersheriff star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Dec 14, 2010
    I think Johnson was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of writing an ensemble film that was also part war epic and space opera; I think he felt confident he could handle the Force story, and I’m pretty sure that’s what he was most interested in, thanks to Luke and Kylo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he found he was prioritizing the other story lines well below it and was struggling to come up with storylines he felt confident in.

    And I think that’s why Poe and Finn’s stories seem to follow the same rough formula, have similar endgoals, and suffer from similar problems. At some point, Johnson either consciously or subconsciously removed them entirely frontman he central conflict he was personally invested in, and he wound up falling back on his deconstruction idea at full force for both guys... but while also limiting their efficacy as characters upon the plot. And even the way they domimoact the plot ends up only being because of bad writing creating redundant moments in a poorly thought out Space Chase.

    I mean, the Space Chase’s connections to Poe’s Story and Finn’s Story are both kind of loosely “taped on:” the storyline reasoning for Holdo and Leia’s plan failing (Poe giving away information) actually makes less sense than more logical suppositions that the film avoids (that the First Order will be curious about a planet they’ve been chasing the Resistance towards for 18 hours/they’ll look out their windows at the cloaked-but-not-conformed-to-be-invisible-at-all transports leaving the Raddus), and Finn’s entire plotline only exists because the film is showing that people can hyperspace away from the Chase without any problem, and then jump back in, kind of making the Chase even more superfluous.

    Neither storyline thus is really required for the Space Chase to work out the way it does, and to some extent, they even sabotage the premise of the Space Chase simply by existing. Which leaves their actual reason for existing: ostensibly, since they can’t imoact the plot that much, they need to be extremely character driven stories...

    ...Unfortunately, Rian Johnson has some skewed priorities and variable passion for those character driven stories. At some point, he became convinced that Poe’s story really needed to be told and that his perception of the character from TFA needed to be deconstructed, even though I think the plotline is clearly expendable and probably shouldn’t be taking time away from the other stories. At the same time, there clearly was at least some apathy towards Finn’s story on his part, and a lack of imagination as well: you don’t admit your reasons for cutting out a character based conflict between Rose and Finn were because you didn’t want to write it unless your apathy is very real for that storyline.

    And of course, both plotlines depend on extremely critical and limited reads of Poe and Finn that arguably aren’t very organic int he first place. Poe is a great pilot in TFA, but he’s also a responsible and mature leader, so trying to make him “Maverick” from Top Gun is dubious. And Finn, of course, had to have a virtue of his redefined into a vice and certain aspects of TFA ignored for his story to happen... and it still wasn’t really worth calling a “character arc,” since it was over in minutes after one scene.
     
  11. ScorpioGirl

    ScorpioGirl Jedi Knight star 3

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    Jan 2, 2019
    I have a question: how did Finn know he and the other stormtroopers were kidnapped as babies? I wonder if after the FO is defeated, he will search for his parents.
     
  12. SHAD0W-JEDI

    SHAD0W-JEDI Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002
    Since this thread is about Finn, will keep this part short - in theory, you could write a story where Poe is forced to grasp that the Rebels are at present reduced to a Fabian strategy, where you sometimes forego engagement and even a potential but costly victory in order to preserve your forces for the long haul, but then you shouldn't put the Rebels in a literal do or die fight at the end. Calling off a near hopeless attack when you have options is one thing; calling it off because... reasons... hoping for divine intervention ... is something else.

    With Finn, as I've said before, I don't think the creative team knows who he is. A largely support oriented soldier thrust onto the front lines in TFA, who snaps? A hardened veteran who has had enough, who questions his life's direction in TFA? A soldier with something akin to PTSD? A former First Order enthusiast, who, seeing first hand what Kylo and company are like, has a philosophical conversion? He's one thing in one scene, another in another. It's a shame, as all those stories have potential... but PICK ONE.