“A Man Who Wants to Run” – Finn’s Character Arc in The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi takes our beloved main characters from The Force Awakens on separate journeys that are imperative to their character development: Ben Solo kills Supreme Leader Snoke and solidifies his roots as the bad guy, Rey takes on the symbolic journey of training as a Jedi with Luke Skywalker – or tries to, anyway – and Poe is prepping to become the leader of the new Rebel Alliance (you can read about Poe’s story here). No less important than these is Finn’s necessary journey in this film that solidifies his role within the Rebellion. He is transformed from a man who wants to run into a man who wants to fight. With the help of Rose, their mission to Canto Bight, and his battle with Captain Phasma, Finn gains an understanding of how important the Resistance’s message is and what it truly means to be “Rebel scum”.


In The Force Awakens, Finn’s main “mission” is to leave the First Order behind and run to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But how was this decision made and why? We are introduced to a stormtrooper who was taken from a family he will never know and thrust into an ideology he doesn’t identify with. In a rigorous training program, Finn, along with many other stormtroopers, is conditioned to serve the First Order and obey all commands without question. Only when he is faced with the prospect of killing innocents on Jakku does he make the decision to leave. But his doubts about the First Order can be traced further back than the events of The Force Awakens.

Finn has a strong moment of truth in Before the Awakening that plants the seeds of his secession from the First Order. In the novel, Finn rescues one of his fallen comrades and he is chastised about it by Captain Phasma. According to the First Order, to have a strong group you have to leave the weak behind. Going back and saving fallen stormtroopers was a waste of resources – stormtroopers are expendable. To Captain Phasma, Finn is replaceable. He is only his number: FN-2187. Read More

In Ron Howard We Trust – Why Solo Still Matters


It’s no surprise that The Last Jedi is taking up every headline this side of the galaxy. The trailer left us with more questions than answers, and TV spots, cast interviews, and a steady stream of tie-ins have kept us speculating about the fates of our beloved heroes and who this Snoke fellow might be. But I want to step away from Episode VIII for a few moments to discuss something that deserves just as much excitement and fanfare: the Han Solo film.The Han Solo standalone film, recently titled Solo: A Star Wars Story, has received public skepticism and an unenthusiastic reaction from much of the Star Wars community. There has been a collective indifference about Han Solo in his younger years but I believe there is a meaningful story behind how he became the beloved scoundrel that we know and love.

The initial skepticism for the film came when directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were first slated to direct the Star Wars standalone. Since this duo primarily directed comedies, there was concern that the Han Solo film was going to turn into a “buddy comedy” (reminiscent of 21 Jump Street) – which was reasonable to worry about. Sure, Star Wars had humorous qualities to it but it was not a comedy movie. What ultimately transpired between Kathleen Kennedy and the directing duo made it clear that Lucasfilm had no intention of being blasé with Han Solo’s story. A short time later, it was announced that Ron Howard would be taking the helm of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

With news of Ron Howard taking over, concerns over what had been going on earlier in the film’s production had been laid to rest (for the most part). However, there was still skepticism regarding what Solo: A Star Wars Story would be about. What could we possibly gain by learning about a younger Han Solo’s journeys through the galaxy? Han has always been a beloved character within the Star Wars community and the idea of putting an origin story to his name seemed risky at best. It was already a big, yet necessary, gamble killing him off in The Force Awakens. Thankfully, that gamble paid off. I think the ultimate question fans of Han Solo are asking is this: will this film change the perception of Han’s character that many fans have had for several years? Hopefully, yes and – hopefully – no. Read More