Star Wars: The Spoilers Awaken

Finn’s characterization
From what I’ve read, the problem people have with Kylo Ren is that he doesn’t fit their image of a Star Wars villain. He’s whiny and handsome where they expected collected and cruel.

I have a similar problem with Finn.

From the trailer, you get a good idea of the different characters’ roles: Poe Dameron is a cocky X-wing pilot, Rey is a plucky desert-dwelling heroine, and Finn is a stormtrooper, which I took to mean he would be the serious, no-nonsense, conflicted one.

Only he wasn’t.

It might have been Abrams’ direction–saintly John Boyega can do no wrong–that led to supposedly straight-laced Finn coming off as a goofy goober.

Finn’s main motivations are avoiding conflict and impressing Rey. He’s unaccustomed to and unfit for battle, doesn’t speak droid or any other language, and, like Luke in the original trilogy, has no idea what’s going on. Of the three mains, he’s the most similar to Luke, which isn’t bad, but how many can say Luke was their favorite character?

Also, did I mention he’s really into Rey? This aspect results in some really funny lines, but feels unmerited. Rey is great, but Finn is instantly in love with her from the moment he meets her. He’s more intense than Will Turner, and Will at least had history with his love interest.

Mostly, I felt his character was inconsistent. Finn went from serious and determined to sassily taunting his superior officer. Abrams seemed more concerned with having a geeky and appealing author avatar/audience surrogate than he was with having a strong character.

People have their problems with Rey and the way she was written, but, compared to Finn, her motivations are more solid and believable. It’s unfortunate that focus is pulled from her to establish a character that essentially functions as a satellite love interest. Finn would have worked better as a sidekick who got more focus in the next film. As it stands now, I’m less interested in what happens to him and his relationship with Rey.

The next movie doesn’t come out until May 2017. We have 17 months to debate all these things and more. Let the arguing commence.

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