I’m watching The Force Awakens at home, and at the very end, the boyfriend comes down and we start chatting about the new Rogue One trailer. One of the boyfriend’s Facebook friends was disappointed there were no strong male leads from the new Star Wars movies for his kids. Rey is great, but she’s female, and very clearly the lead.
Now, I love me some Rey, but tons of love has already been heaped on Rey as a great character. So I’m going to provide my humble perspective on why Finn is a phenomenal character. And an excellent role model for kids everywhere.
Strong Willed: While at Maz’s place, Finn admits to Rey that he is a storm trooper. He tells her he was taken from parents, who he will never know, when he was very young. Which means he literally throws off a life time of indoctrination to escape the First Order. Willpower is something any adult should have, but is alarmingly absent these days.
Decisive: When Finn decided he needed to leave the First Order, he didn’t hem and haw. He didn’t waste any time trying to find the perfect plan. Finn used the element of surprise very much to his advantage. He looked around, decided the person with a vested interest in helping him escape, was the newly captured Poe Dameron (who is no slouch himself, but didn’t really get enough screen time in this one to categorize his strong points). Finn immediately acted on that instinct (oh yeah! Finn has good instincts!) and got Poe out of questioning to help with their mutually beneficial escape.
Smart: Finn knew he didn’t have the skill set needed to fly a TIE fighter. So he got Poe out of lock up. He didn’t know if Poe could fly a TIE fighter, but he knew he stood a better chance at escape with someone at his back.
Common Sense: When Finn stumbles his way into some semblance of civilization on Jakku, he spies BB-8, who is with Rey. With having never met her, when Finn sees the look on Rey’s face as she charges at him, he has the good God common sense to run from the look of death bearing down on him. I’ve known men who were married for 20 years to the same woman who didn’t have the sense to run from that look.
Intelligence: No, smart and intelligent are actually not the same thing. Smart, according to dictionary.com, when used as an adjective, means quick or prompt in action. Intelligence, however, means capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding. Finn wants to get as far away from the First Order as he possibly can, as quickly as he can. That’s not fear or cowardice. That’s intelligence. He knows what the First Order is capable of, and wants some distance between him and them.
Loyal: When Rey is captured, Finn lies to the Resistance in order to be on the mission to save her. Oh yeah, Chewy even tells Rey it was Finn’s idea to save her. That’s loyalty. It may be a bit early to say love has blossomed between the two, but he sees her as a good person, and a friend, and when he sees that Kylo Ren has taken Rey, Finn’s loyalty has him running to the rescue of his friend.
Brave: He knows how dangerous the First Order is, yet he goes in to their heart to save his friend. That takes courage. Hell, his first duty wasn’t even as a combat technician…he worked in SANITATION! Yet he still went in to save his friend. Such bravery should be seen and encouraged in kids these days.
Foolhardy: again, referring to dictionary.com, foolhardy means recklessly or thoughtlessly bold. Tying this in to his loyalty and bravery, what kind of idiot, with no training in that specific weapon, attacks a fully trained Sith Lord? He had NO SHOT against Kylo Ren, but he fucking TRIED. Because he is loyal, and brave, and foolhardy…and a most excellent strong male role model for this generation of Star Wars fans.
Now, I am sure there are many more than 8 reasons why Finn is awesome. Seriously, strength in character is not a zero sum game. Rey and Finn are well matched as lead characters, and watching Finn’s character progression will be truly joyous in the upcoming movies.