Knife wrote:Shroom Man 777 wrote:Adam Reynolds wrote:Finn is nice in that he is fairly likable overall, but has the drawback that his lack of competence at points makes him less credible as a hero.
Where does Finn fall on the competence area?
Mostly a script issue where they don't know where to go with the character.
I don't know about that. I think he actually is the only character in TFA who has a significant, clear arc that isn't largely relegated to backstory (Rey's development is mostly just getting more powers and overcoming, for little apparent reason, her self-imposed isolation).
He starts out as an indoctrinated grunt.
When exposed to the horrors of war, he freezes up. This establishes both his fear, and his capacity for empathy.
Facing the potential consequences of his "disloyalty" if he remains in the First Order, he helps Poe escape because Poe can help him escape. We see that he's an affable guy who makes friends easily, but at this point he's still being largely driven by his fear, and just making his plan up as he goes, trying to survive. He's no longer a drone of the First Order, but he's largely reactive, not proactive.
Stranded on Jakku after his escape and believing Poe (his only friend) dead, he stumbles upon Rey and BB, and latches onto them, implicitly out of attraction to Rey and out of a sense of obligation to Poe, as well as (likely) simply to give his existence some meaning beyond survival for its own sake. This is the first point where he begins to really act proactively for a purpose other than self-preservation.
He follows Rey, pursued by the First Order, as far as Maz's castle. At this point, however, he wants to just keep running, rather than join the fight against the First Order. He's a decent person, but he doesn't believe that the First Order can be beaten, and he's still being driven by his fear, trying to escape.
Then Kylo Ren attacks. Finn witnesses Ren capturing Rey, and tries to chase after them. Failing that, he immediately tries to talk the Resistance into a rescue mission, offering his own knowledge of Starkiller Base and agreeing to go along on the mission. For the first time, he is actively and unreservedly working to oppose the First Order, not merely refusing to follow orders or trying to escape them.
Note that this is basically a reversal of the Prequel Jedi "attachment leads to fear, fear leads to the Dark Side" doctrine.
All this comes to a head in his final duel with Kylo Ren, where he and Rey are corned and alone, Rey might be dead or dying for all he knows, and he's against an opponent far beyond his capabilities, and yet he still stands his ground.
Their is a fairly steady development from First Order grunt, to decent but terrified man just trying to escape an intolerable situation, to actually taking a proactive stand for something (specifically, someone) he cares about, to a man who is ultimately willing to lay down his life in her defence.
Its actually a fairly compelling story. Its just entangled with a lot of other things, some of which muddle the film rather than enhance it.
At first he is a Stormtrooper, assaulting a point destruction raid on a village who then decides to obtain and defect. Never saw him do the 'stormtrooper' bit and run in and kill things.
Yeah, and that's the point.
I don't know if its ever discussed in any books or anything like that, but I strongly suspect that that was his first time actually facing those kinds of combat conditions. He was presumably considered capable, given that he was assigned to Kylo Ren's own force for a crucial mission, but he was likely someone who looked good on paper, in the sims, and had never actually been in serious combat (particularly if much of his prior career was spent working on Starkiller Base).
That exposure to the horror of battle, followed immediately by being exposed to the horror of what the First Order does to innocent bystanders, caused him to disregard orders, which is the impetus for everything else that happens to him in the film.
Breaking out Poe was a matter of just knowing the routines of the ship and not any particular spec ops training.
Wasn't he manning the guns during the escape? Or was that just on the Falcon with Rey?
Perhaps some credit on surviving Jakar but whatever. Hand to hand is somewhat iffy against Rey. Fight against gangsters and monsters was iffy and just lucky.
Eh, he survived.
Fight against Stormtroopers was pretty lack luster even when he had a lightsaber, was stale mated by a anti lightsaber stormtrooper.
Aren't lightsabers supposed to be damn hard to use, if you aren't a Force user? Or is that just old EU or something?
Big plan on the Starkiller base was predicated more on his knowledge of procedure and protocol other than some high speed ninjia skills.
He was still smart enough to quickly come up with that plan and sell it to the Resistance, and had balls enough to try it.
Fight against Ren? Ok. Not to bad.
Pretty good, really.
Admittedly, Kylo Ren was handicapped in a number of ways at that time, but still... he lasted longer against Anakin Skywalker's pseudo-Sith grandson than, say, Jango did against Windu or Boba did against Luke, and they were both experienced fighters with a lot more equipment.
All and all, I like the character but nothing about his 'stormtrooper-ness', rather for everything other than his prior vocation.
His being a stormtrooper is significant, though, both because the idea of a redeemed stormtrooper defector is not something they've done in the films before, and because it gave him the information necessary to carry out his plan to rescue Rey and destroy Starkiller Base. He'd likely have been just another grunt to the Resistance, at best, without that.
It also informs his motivations throughout the film- his fear of facing the First Order, and likely how quickly he attaches himself to Poe and Rey- because he has no friendships, no human relationships at all, outside of his fellow First Order troops.
As a Stormtrooper, he kind of sucks.
Considering he defected, yeah.
Like I said, he was probably someone who was, at the start of the film, "good on paper" but untested in battle.
Mind you, stormtroopers generally suck as stormtroopers in canon.