Welcome to another installment of "Everything We Know", where I recap all of the facts that we have on one of 2015's most anticipated films, [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158). Last time, I covered the hero of the original trilogy, Luke Skywalker - but now that we have a name for a face, I'll be covering everything I know about John Boyega's "Finn", one of the main characters of The Force Awakens. We'll start with everything that's fact, and then highlight the best rumors and theories on the character.
The Basics & Facts
Finn is one of the main characters in Star Wars Episode 7, alongside Daisy Ridley, and is either serving as a stormtrooper or disguised as one. His was the first face we saw in the epic teaser trailer, and though a mix of confusion and blatant racism occurred over the idea of a black stormtrooper (which, again, the Empire phased out Clonetroopers after the Clone Wars and began recruiting citizens) Boyega took the backlash in stride, proving that he's ready to step up as our new hero.
John Boyega himself is a 22 year old actor from London, best known for playing Moses in Attack the Block and Chris Tanner in [24: Live Another Day](series:951373). If you're nervous about our new hero, I'd definitely recommend watching him in Attack the Block, a scifi/action flick with a tinge of horror.
Remember, until proven true, all of the following should be seen as rumor and speculation. On to the rumors!
Finn's introduction is one that's held a pretty solid basic story as the rumor mill churns forward, so unless Lucasfilm is pulling the wool over our eyes by sending out continuous fake leaks, here's how it goes: Finn is an Imperial stormtrooper who defects after seeing the brutality that comes along with his job title. Throughout the movie, he's hunted by an imperial officer, supposedly played by Gwendoline Christie.
In every telling, Finn crashes his TIE Fighter while escaping and is rescued by either Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, or both. There are several different details regarding this rumor, so here are a few:
The Force Awakens in Finn (and Rey)
According to The SpoilerMan Leaks, the Star Wars Episode 7's title refers to an "awakening" in the Force - where the Force itself awakens in several individuals across the galaxy, after laying dormant within Luke Skywalker. Whether those individuals use their force sensitivity for good or evil, though, is up to them. This plot reminds me a little bit of several comic book plots I've seen before, but I'd be alright with it - Luke is the last known remaining Jedi, and having our two mains with force capabilities (with Oscar Isaac's "Poe" as our everyman Han Solo type) is not unlike our previous trios of Luke, Leia, and Han or Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme.
This 'awakening' is one of the elements that is supposed to influence his decision to go AWOL from the Imperials. Rey is said to also experience this awakening, which might explain how they meet each other - she's on a desert planet, and that's where his TIE fighter seems to crash in concept art.
He Defects After Watching a Massacre
In the trailer, we're shown three shots of the new Stromtroopers and their fancy new guns - with one specific Stormtrooper seeming to stand out. Fans have speculated that this particular Stormtrooper is Finn. A few different plot rumors have hinted that Finn, a fairly new kid when it comes to the Imperials, is dispatched on a mission to destroy a village while looking for an artifact.
Finn can't bring himself to participate, and attempts to escape during the carnage, only to be shot down.
How He Meets the Cast
There are two primary rumors when it comes to Finn meeting Rey and Poe, along with Han Solo himself. Either way, the next step in Finn's journey supposedly involves meeting his new friends and jetting off of the desert planet on the Millennium Falcon, and in both, he's ultimately saved by Rey.
After Finn's TIE fighter crashes during his escape, Rey stumbles upon him - either by accident or because she senses him with that recently awakened Force-sensitivity - and uses either her junker ship or a pig-tower to bring his ship in for repairs.
Finn and Poe's Escape
X-Wing Pilot Poe Dameron is rumored to have been captured by the Imperials before Finn, and the two are thrown in the same holding cell, where they decide to forge an unlikely partnership in order to escape. It's not clear whether they're successful or not, but through a vague turn of events, they come into contact with Rey. She tows Poe's X-Wing in for repairs, and calls on Han Solo - not only to retrieve Poe, but to examine an artifact that Rey has found: a lost lightsaber.
Search for Luke
It isn't really clear how Rey knows Han Solo - but many rumors say that she's his daughter, who left home to search for Jedi artifacts after Luke Skywalker goes missing.
The trio, Han, and Chewbacca are said to escape aboard the Millennium Falcon, eventually meeting Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2. It's then that the group decides to seek out Luke Skywalker, who has either been kidnapped, gone hermit, or both, because he's been missing for roughly a decade.
Whether Han and Leia tag along isn't clear, but it's said that a good deal of the second act involves the trio searching for Luke in order to get clarification on both the lightsaber and their sudden sensitivity towards the Force.
Very little details are out on what Finn can do with the force, but apparently Finn is not even at the level of power that Luke was at in A New Hope. This wouldn't be extremely surprising, since the Skywalker family is supposed to be the most in tune with the Force.
We might see a small demonstration of Finn's new abilities: Making Star Wars has given a little detail on an alien that apparently forges the crystals needed to build a lightsaber, and supposed concept art (shown above) has depicted a male character holding a lightsaber, with BB-8 in the frame.
Speculation on the film's second act hints at the new trio finding Luke, but it seems that before they can begin any training, they're interrupted by an attack by either the Imperials or the Sith.
What We Won't See: Comic Book Finn
There's only one other character that shares a name with Boyega's character, and that's Finn from Star Wars: Invasion. These stories, of course, are now a part of the Star Wars Legends line, no longer considered canon. Filmmakers and creators within Star Wars' new ongoing universe are welcome to pull inspiration, though, so here are a few details on Finn: He's royalty on his planet, and after a major attack, he falls under the guidance of Luke Skywalker in order to train as a Jedi. He is leagues below Luke's other Padawans (Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo, along with Lowbacca, Chewie's nephew) but Skywalker and his family seem to have a lot of faith in him, and he proves to be a major player in his assistance with the Rebellion.
I highly doubt we're seeing a re-hash of this character, but it is pretty cool to see where the parallels are between the two: new Jedi who are also fresh faces in an ongoing war that all of the other characters are deeply involved with.
Right now, we're officially 367 days away from seeing The Force Awakens, and finding out what's in store for our new hero, Finn. Until then, speculation will inevitably run wild, and I'll be here to update you on all of it. Stay tuned for more installments of Everything We Know, coming soon!