How Star Wars Ruined Finn

In a screenwriting room far, far away someone came to a grave realization…

JJ: “Whoa guys, we can’t have a black main character who’s not there to make the audience laugh like he’s Kevin Hart or something! There’s no way a black person can play a main character and not be the jokiest jokester of all. That’s impossible!”

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SCREENWRITER 1: “You’re right JJ, but alas we can’t make it appear blatantly racist either. If we did, the African American demographic wouldn’t fork over their money. Er, I mean it would unmask our exploitation of the social justice trend. Wait, I mean it’s important for black people to exist—”

SCREENWRITER 2: “Shut up! I’ve got it! Let’s just say he was like, a really good cadet, like the best most ideal stormtrooper ever! Then we can write all the jokes we want without it seeming like that’s the only reason this character exists! You know what I mean?”

JJ: “Goodness, Screenwriter 2. That’s genius! Get to writing! But make sure you save all the important details for the novelization. B*tches love novelizations. Just keep the funnies for the film.”

SW1: “What about that sanitation joke I wrote before? I mean, it’s hilarious and all, but it doesn’t quite—”

JJ: “It’s one line, it doesn’t matter. We’ll never mention it again.”

SW1: “But doesn’t that also undermine the—”

JJ: “Damn it, SW1! You will leave in the sanitation joke or so help me you will not even smell a million of the 2 billion dollars this film will make!”

SW1: “Fine.”


 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens committed many offenses in its most recent installment, but the one that irritated me the most was Finn, and oh what an atrocity was committed with that character alone. Let’s get this started, shall we?

Stormtrooper Background, where art thou?

Finn is a stormtrooper gone AWOL, but would we know that based on his actions and behavior alone? No, we wouldn’t.

Why?

Because he doesn’t act like a person who has spent the bulk of their life not only living under a Nazi regime, but excelling there as well.

My word, is there any reason why Finn is so jokey? Was he nominated “class clown” among his fellow stormtroopers during their senior superlatives?

And just to reiterate how well trained he was, how deeply ingrained this regime was in his mind, the Chrome Captain (whatever) explicitly tells us that he has never, NOT ONCE, showed any signs of renegade…ness.

She is directly telling the audience that this guy, who hopped out the Nazi regime cracking anachronistic jokes (not over time after he got used to the world beyond Nazis but IMMEDIATELY), showed no signs of dissension ever.

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Has anyone ever said “hell no” in the Star Wars universe? Nope, that little gem there was saved for the first main black character in the franchise because of course.
And hell no, indeed.

What Abrams did to this character is simply baffling. What’s even more baffling is how audiences and critics alike glaze right over this as if it is totally plausible. Some even go so far as to praise Finn as a character.

Does no one care? Are people scared to criticize because he’s black? Is it because he’s black?

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I kid, but I honestly don’t understand how no one has a problem with this.
It’s the writing that should be criticized here not the actor. Boyega has nothing to do with this, at all. JJ and friends had 200 million dollars at their disposal, they couldn’t take the time to write a character worth one thousand of the two billion dollars this film made?

It’s just too much to ask really.

You know, if anything I would’ve expected Finn’s character to somewhat resemble that of Spock from Star Trek. Rather stoic and unemotional, quite cold and calculating even because that would make the most sense, right? Considering his very detailed background:

The boy who would become Finn was taken as a child from his family to serve the First Order. Finn later reflected that he had been too young to even remember who his family was. The child received the designation FN-2187 and was made a stormtrooper of the First Order…FN-2187, known to his fellow troopers as Eight-Seven, was seen by his comrades and superiors as an ideal First Order stormtrooper, and consistently scored top marks as a cadet. Finn was also once in charge of sanitation duties at Starkiller Base.

In light of that, take a gander at this:

Upon spending some time with totally believable character Rey, this former stormtrooper asks:

“Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a cute boyfriend?”

“Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a cute boyfriend?”

“Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a cute boyfriend?”

-said by none other than yours truly Finn, the silliest and most “ideal First Order stormtrooper” to date

I have to admit, I chuckled at this line when I first heard it, but immediately after, I realized how strange that was…

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What was that all about? Who talks like that in the Star Wars universe? And even if anyone did talk like that, would it come from the mouth of a recently defected stormtrooper no less?

This line and the hell no as well would’ve made far more sense with Poe, the dastardly rebel who hilariously asks Kylo Ren, “Do I talk first or you talk first? I talk first?”

I guess they needed as much funny to go around as possible and considering Poe is absent from most of the film, his jokes are automatically delegated to the black comic relief Finn, the ever-hilarious recently defected stormtrooper / janitor.

What Could’ve Been…

The potential Finn had as a well rounded, transformative character is maddening.

His background sets him up perfectly for the story of a stormtrooper struggling (imagine that, a struggle!) to adapt to this unknown world he has found himself in.

Go with Finn on a journey to regain his humanity after being torn from his homeland and systematically brainwashed to obey! 

JJ: Nope, that sounds too much like an allegory to slavery. That would take a lot of thought and skill to execute correctly. Next!

Watch as Finn internally grapples to reconcile his new-found sense of humanity with his past of being a robot bred to kill!

JJ: Nah, I’m not too keen on the idea of internal struggles. Shout out to all the Mary Sues out there. Next!

Witness Finn make a seamless transition from superior Nazi soldier to upstanding citizen  and spend the remainder of the film cracking jokes so out of place you’d swear the director just didn’t give a sh*t!

JJ: Perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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