When Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens premiered during the Christmas season of 2015, most people were anticipating the next level in the saga. George Lucas had sold Lucasfilms and the properties to Disney in 2012 for over $4 billion. J.J. Abrams was the writer and director and all we knew was that the movie would begin about 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Unfortunately, all Abrams did was just redo Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. A droid, BB8, has important information for the Resistance that needs to be delivered. A massacre starts the movie as we’re introduced to the main villain, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Then a space craft crash lands on the desert planet of Jakku. There’s another cantina scene with odd characters. There’s another military base with the capability of destroying planets. There’s another space firefight in which the base is destroyed.
Even Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew with Joonas Suotamo and Ian Whyte as doubles) pop up around the beginning of the second act. It’s nuts because I guess Abrams expected us to just not realize he was giving us a soft reboot of something we had seen before. Rey (Daisey Ridley) is the Luke Skywalker of this movie, a young person barely making ends meet who goes on to learn how to be a Jedi.
But the change this time around is the relationship betwen the Resistance’s fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and a stormtrooper FN-2187 (John Boyega) who doesn’t believe in senseless killing unarmed and non-violent beings. The stromtrooper has been raised since birth through General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) to be obedient soldiers. However, when Poe is taken captive, the stormtrooper sees Poe as a chance to help him get away.
But, Poe wants to go to Jakku to get BB8 where he’s stored the information. Poe gives the stormtrooper the nickname “Finn” because he doesn’t want to call him FN-2187. However, they don’t make a clean break and are shot down in Jakku with Finn believing Poe has died. (That’s how Abrams had anticipated the movie but Isaac talked him into expanding the role.)
Finn sheds his uniform but finds Poe’s jacket in the rumble and puts it on. If you ever wondered what stormtroopers wear under the armor, it’s black pants and a black long-sleeve shirt. Finn eventually meets up with Rey who has saved BB8. The droid recognizes that Finn is wearing Poe’s jacket and an agrument ensues between Rey and Finn as she believes he’s hurt Poe. But Fnn tells Rey and BB8 that he believes Poe died in the crash.
Eventually, they make it out of Jakku through the Millennium Falcon and then are tracked down by Han and Chewbacca before they make it to Takodana where they meet cantina owner Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o). But Hux delivers a speech from Starkiller Base that the New Republic should be destroyed for their association with the Resistance and the base fires its weapon that destroys several planets including the capital of the New Republic.
Abrams is just lazy here. We didn’t need a Starkiller Base. Also, the notion that the base absorbs a star’s energy to use to fire its weapon would create a black hole and also firing said weapon on a snow-covered planet wouldn’t make sense. Hux and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie underused) and the rest of the stormtroopers would have enough fall-out radiation the Resistance would just have to wait a little time for the radiation poisoning to set in. It would be like Chernobyl dialed up to 11.
Also, the Death Star fired its weapons near the planets or moons. In The Force Awakens, the weapon of Starkiller Base fires and reaches its target so many light years away that everyone would have fair warning to leave. Abrams isn’t worried about a coherent plot because if anyone having seen Rise of Skywalker knows he just brought back Emperor Palpatine with no explanation. It’s really piss-poor writing and I know people don’t care for The Last Jedi, but why would we need a Resistance for the New Republic? The First Order wold be the fucking resistance!
So the Resistance, which should just be the regular military, comes to fight on Takodana with Poe leading the way in his X-Wing ship. When Poe and Finn met earlier, there was a little hint of likeability and charm between the two. But here, it’s laid on more as Finn can’t help but remark as loud as he can that Poe is one great pilot. It’s kinda like watching your boo in score a goal in the big game. Of course, shortly after the movie came out, many people suspected Poe and Finn were a couple. And fan art everywhere has them as a couple.
Later when they meet up again, they hug and Poe notices that Finn is wearing his jacket. When Finn starts to take it off, Poe stops him and says it looks good on him. Who doesn’t want their boo wearing their clothes? It’s kinda cute. And “Finn” is Poe’s little pet name for him the way Ellen Griswold calls Clark “Sparky” in the Vacation movies. And you can tell by the look in Poe’s eyes that he is definitely attracted to Finn.
When they prepare for the big battle, Poe and Finn walk pass each other getting ready as Poe will be manning an X-Wing while Finn will be on the Falcon. Poe gives Finn a little “Go get them” nudge of support. Finn stops and turns around to watch Poe for a while as if he’s thinking about Poe.
Now, some could just argue, this is nothing more than a simple bromance between Finn and Poe but I’d argue that Finn prefers the company of men. If he was being trained since birth to be a stormtrooper, he’s been around men so he could be attracted to them. In a conversation with Rey, he asks her if she has a boyfriend, but then asks if the boyfriend is cute? Why would he ask that?
On Jakku when their lives become threatened, Finn grabs Rey’s hand as they run away. Of course, she hates this because she’s an independent woman who can take care of herself. But I think it says more about how Finn sees Rey. Obviously, despite being a young scavenger, Rey is young, petite and pretty. But Finn doesn’t see her that way. When he sees her being harassed, he goes to help but is surprised she can fight creeps off. Rey thinks Finn is being misogynistic and sexists by grabbing her hand but he’s not.
Also, on Starkiller Base, Finn comes into contact again with Phasma who we see at the beginning criticizing him for taking off his helmet in an unauthrorized location and suspecting him of not firing on people with his blaster when ordered. It’s obvious Phasma represents a dominatrix and there’s hostility between the two as Finn prefers daddies to dominatrices.
Sadly, we don’t get a “I love you/I know” scene between Finn and Poe as Rian Johnson chose not to pursue this in The Last Jedi. Finn is injured due to his lack of inexperience with a light saber in a duel with Kylo Ren. Finn is unconscious and put in sick bay under observation for the remainder of the movie. Starkiller Base is destroyed and Rey and Chewbacca go in search of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in exile on Ahch-To.
Isaac blamed the brass at Disney for not wanting to pursue the relationship between Poe and Finn further, but the whole trilogy was a mess. Everyone suspected Finn would train to be a Jedi. The death of Carrie Fisher after filming TLJ and the firing of Colin Trevorrow before he could begin work on the third movie showed that Disney really had no plan and just half-assing the whole thing. It’s a shame, because the sequel trilogy could’ve been a lot better than it was.
Sadly, we’ll never know. At least we’re getting a third season of The Mandalorian.
What do you think? Please comment.