In my final* character study of the new trilogy I am going to focus on Finn. Like the other characters we’ve discussed Snoke, Kylo and Rey, we are going to speculate on his past and look to what we can figure out about his future. Buckle up and potential spoilers ahead.
Before we get the to the more detailed rumors about Episode VIII, let’s take a look at Finn’s motivations.
Once again to understand a character we must know where he comes from and with Finn its pretty well explained in various novels. He was taken from his parents as a small child by the First Order. They raised him from the beginning to be a Stormtrroper of the First Order’s and held various jobs as part of they training and conditioning. We once talked about who his parents were but now it is obvious that they were no one of consequence and considering the way the First Order operates are probably dead. Still something of his parents must have survived his indoctrination into the First Order as he found their tactics abhorrent and deserted after his second bit of action on Jakku. The rest of his troops found no problem in the attack or in the previous attack that Finn questioned, his moral compass must have been fully established early on by his parents.
If this is true then it not only explains him deserting but also his desire to help Rey. When we last saw Finn he was not a part of the Resistance though he did fight along side them. His only goal was saving his friend, which we learned in Before the Awakening is something Finn was always willing to do even at the risk of his own safety. This means at the start of Episode VIII Finn may not technically be a part of the resistance, much like Han Solo was with the Rebels but not really a part of the rebellion in ESB. This would explain why rumors have Finn off on a mission seemingly without any other resistance members. He is helping them but outside of their structure as of right now.
Let’s look at the most consistent rumors we have so far, mainly from MSW. One we have Finn and a new character played by Kelly Marie Tran working together for part or most of the film. We don’t know if she is a contact, a member of the resistance or a double agent. I’ve speculated she is a link to Maz Kanata but I have nothing to to back that except my gut and it gives us a reason to bring Maz back into the movies. We have this one leaked shot of probably Finn with Kelly Marie Tran’s character (sources here, here, and here):
They appear on a world that’s part of the Dubrovnik sets that’s been associated with a rumored Casino scene. Finn appears to have the same jacket as in TFA, but we’re not sure how long that will last. It appears Finn will have his arc, Rey will have hers and Poe will have his, they will meet up at the end of the movie in some way. There have been rumors that Finn will face off against Phasma but I find that nothing more than fanboy conjecture at this point. I think we can assume though that Finn will take his mission because he trying to do the right thing once again, most likely to help one his friends more than help the Resistance. I suspect that movie will end with him in custody of the First Order also, having sacrificed himself for Poe or Rey.
Will Finn have a more stunt-heavy role in Episode VIII? This was certainly hinted at with this tweet:
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) February 4, 2016
Not sure what this means. Will his role in TFA involve more physical activity, or will we see the character grow into a more serious Resistance fighter? In an interview with Vogue, when asked about his training for VIII Boyega states:
“No, for this film we really just took it scene by scene, there wasn’t a huge regime. My part in the next film will be much more physical so I might be in the gym a bit more.”
This and other signs point to a more physical role. In discussions with Variety, Boyega also states that
It’s very easy. Rian Johnson is great. It’s a different take, darker, bigger. Someone will say: “How do you get bigger than ‘Force Awakens?’” But it’s crazy.
This certainly has implications beyond his character, but if apply this to his character, we are expecting a darker, more serious, more action-packed role for Finn in Episode VIII.
*If you have been paying attention you may be asking what about Poe? Well honestly he was supposed to die early in the first film and I’m not sure I am ready to count him as part of the main protagonists/antagonists of the story. I suspect Episode VIII will change that and according to the rumor mill he will have a beefed up role. I will also say we know ALOT more about his past than anyone else so not as much to speculate.