As I finished The Force Awakens I distinctly remember thinking how much I liked the character of Finn. I loved his humor, chemistry with Rey, and his character arc from Stormtrooper to Resistance fighter. One of the things that I have found occupying my time as a Star Wars fan is speculation on what will happen to Finn. What might his character arc be in the coming two episodes of the sequel trilogy? What should it be?
In multiple interviews and conversations actor John Boyega has commented on how the Episode 8 script is darker and that his character is required to be much more physical than he was for Episode 7. This begs the question: Where does Finn go from the end of Episode 7?
We have never seen a character like Finn on film. He is a stormtrooper that has gone rogue. He is a man who has had his identity forged for him by others and that is a unique place for his character to come from. It seems as though there are some really interesting places the character of Finn can go in future films.
One place that I think should be explored with Finn is how he might create his own identity after the indoctrination by the hands of The First Order. There have been many people that have felt they have been negatively influenced by people and organizations in their lifetimes. It could be very cathartic for an audience member to watch a character like Finn move out from the destructive and unhealthy rule and influence of the First Order and into a healthier and noble existence. I think Finn has a wonderful start in exploring that, but there are depths that the story can go for his character that I hope the storytellers delve into in the future.
Another area in which the film can explore is the relationship between Finn and Rey. While there is an obvious attraction between the two characters, I think there might be a major opportunity to show a relationship between a man and a woman that does not have to be romantic. So often we see this formulaic approach to men and women in movies: If there are two heroic characters of different genders then they must fall in love. We have already seen such great movement with women characters in film this year. I think it would be great to see a deep and abiding friendship between Finn and Rey without romance. It is rare in hollywood (especially with high profile films) and would be refreshing too.
Finally, Finn and Captain Phasma need to have a continued rivalry. Captain Phasma was a huge disappointment in The Force Awakens due to the fact that her screen time was limited. Finn needs a foil and Phasma is the best suited to be that. This will give tension to Finn’s storyline and free up Kylo Ren to focus (and obsess) on Rey. Hopefully Phasma’s relationship with Finn will be explored in the next two films (and beyond?).
So what do you think? Where do you want to see Finn’s arc go in the coming films/stories?