What Is Finn's Backstory In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'? Finn Is So Much More Than Just The Black Stormtrooper
Star Wars: The Force Awakens shocked fans when the first trailer revealed that stormtroopers weren't exactly how we remember them. Instead of clones, stormtroopers are now soldiers of The First Order, conditioned to obey General Hux and Kylo Ren. This abandonment of the original stormtroopers caused some fans to be upset, and others to rejoice. But after people got over the shock that anyone can be a stormtrooper, not just clones, they were faced with the question: who is Finn? Who were his parents? Why did he become a stormtrooper in the first place? While some of these questions were explored in The Force Awakens, Finn's history remains somewhat of a mystery, even to Finn himself. So, what is Finn's backstory, really? Spoilers ahead!
Here's what's known when fans first meet Finn in The Force Awakens : he's a stormtrooper who doesn't want to spill blood. In the very first battle of the film, stormtroopers arrive on the planet Jakku and are ordered to slaughter innocent citizens. A stormtrooper later revealed to be Finn doesn't is the only member of the firing squad who doesn't shoot. Overcome by the violence and the restrictive identity of a stormtrooper, Finn decides to escape from The First Order with Poe Dameron and creates an identity for himself as a member of the resistance. His new identity is born from Poe, who decides to call him Finn instead of his only known identifier FN-2187. Before that, he there was no Finn, only a soldier treated as a weapon, not a person.
Finn's past as a child soldier is alluded to in the film, as is his birth family and childhood, though only as a way of saying that he didn't have either. After Finn goes against the First Order, Captain Phasma reveals that he has been under the control of the group since he was a child — conditioned since birth to obey the commands of the First Order and abandon all sense of self. It's telling that, when Phasma explains Finn's background, the digital photo that appears next to her is one that appears to show him as a small child or toddler, but not a newborn. This suggests that Finn wasn't born into his stormtrooper role, so his parents might not have be related to the First Order at all. Maybe, like Rey, Finn was abandoned by his parents — and sold to, or found, by the First Order.
As to who his parents might be, well, that's still a mystery, but Boyega has some theories. His favorite is that Finn is related to Mace Windu, played by Samuel L. Jackson in the Star Wars prequels. Jackson too, it appears, is a fan of this theory. "I was at a party and someone behind me just tapped me on the shoulder and was like, 'Yo, black Jedi!' I turned around and it was Samuel L. Jackson," Boyega said at a Star Wars press conference. "He was like, 'You're my son!'" Another popular theory about Finn's parentage is that he is the son of Lando Calrissian, former owner of the Millennium Falcon originally played by Billy Dee Williams.
Boyega teased that a lot of Finn's character was "mapped out" in an interview with Variety, but failed to note whether or not Finn's future in the franchise included a look into his past. It's likely we will learn more about Finn's origins in Episode VIII and Episode IX, but would it be so bad if we didn't?
In a way, Finn doesn't really have a backstory — and that's not a bad thing. If Finn's lineage remains unknown, it will separate Finn from past Force-wielding Star Wars heroes as a man who wasn't born to fight, but chose to. Someone who determined his own fate in the fight between the Dark and the Light. As rumors about Rey's parentage intensify, maybe fans should lay off questioning Finn's potential ties to Star Wars characters of the past. Instead, fans might want to focus on how Finn will change the future Star Wars universe.
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