[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) has finally been released, and yes, it does live up to the hype. The new characters are definitely one of the highlights of the film, and as Rey and Finn join forces the Star Wars saga is propelling into an exciting new adventure.
John Boyega's Finn is excellent: his desperation to escape the horrors of the First Order is palpable, but his optimism and heroism ultimately endears him to the audience. Essentially, Finn's awesome. And here's how he managed to solve one of the most glaring problems of the Star Wars Saga to date...
Spoiler warning: now's the time to make the jump to hyperspace. We've even put in a handy video to block the view!
Alright, let's get spoilery.
Finn & The Human Side Of Stormtroopers
The Force Awakens is going a long way to redeem some major mistakes the prequels made. One of the reasons Attack Of The Clones failed to chime with fans was because there were no high stakes: the war itself was somewhat dull, as clones battled droids. These armies were completely disposable, and we didn't really get an emotional kick in the teeth until the Jedi were massacred in Revenge Of The Sith.
Similarly, the Stormtroopers of the original trilogy were clumsy and the butt of many a joke, meaning we didn't really care when they were killed. But Star Wars 7 is determined to show both sides of the conflict as tragic.
The Force Awakens broke ground with its portrayal of Stormtroopers, using humour and tragic moments to humanise the First Order's soldiers. The first time we encounter Finn, he's shocked as a fellow trooper is slain. It's a fantastic moment, as the camera pans around from our hero Poe Dameron to focus on one Trooper's grief. Immediately, we are confronted with the fact that beneath the armour these soldiers are people too, and they experience joy and grief like any of us.
"I've seen what The First Order can do. And trust me when I say we all need to run."
As we learn more about Finn we discover that the First Order's Troopers are subject to grueling mental conditioning: they are literally raised to be soldiers, and fed First Order propaganda from birth.
Just like that, we sympathise with the fearsome foe the Resistance are fighting. Not because we agree with their actions, but because we know their soldiers are people just like our heroes, brainwashed into fighting for the wrong cause. So can Finn save them from themselves?
Converting The First Order
The Force Awakens concludes with Finn recovering in the Resistance base, as Rey embarks on her mission to train with Luke Skywalker. Although it was Finn who wielded the legendary Skywalker lightsaber in all the film's marketing, it looks like he won't train to become a Jedi... at least, not yet. So it seems likely that in Episode 8 Finn will join the Resistance as a soldier, hopefully teaming up with Poe Dameron again to fight the First Order.
It's possible that Finn's destiny doesn't just lie in defeating the First Order, but redeeming them. If Finn's story proved nothing else, it's that there is hope for more Stormtroopers to rebel against their programming, and an influx of new soldiers could only help the Resistance now the New Republic has been destroyed. How Finn could do this remains to be seen, but I for one would love to see the First Order brought down from within, as Finn's defection inspires revolution.
Could more Stormtroopers start to question The First Order's methods in Star Wars 8? Or will Finn join Rey in training to become a Jedi with Luke Skywalker?With two saga films yet to come, the possibilities really are endless, but one thing's for certain: the Star Wars galaxy will never be the same again.
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