Is Finn Force Sensitive?
I thought it might be interesting to look at whether we think Finn is Force sensitive in Star Wars The Force Awakens. We know there is an awakening, but is it limited to Rey? Let's take a quick look...
In the opening moments of Star Wars The Force Awakens we see Finn make a decision. It a decision to remove himself from the First Order. Finn witnessed a huge crime against a small group of settlers in a village on the planet Jakku. We here at Talk Star Wars recently learned from someone who was there that the villagers are members of The Church of the Force. That someone was Gloria Garcia who played the rifle wielding villager who's fire allowed Poe to get to his ship. Finn's 'rebellion' goes relatively unnoticed, his fellow 'troopers blasting the innocent with a cold detachment. Is Finn's objection to this war crime a sign that something has awoken within him?
I say relatively unnoticed because one pretty significant person does notice Finn. Kylo Ren senses something and stops to stare at Finn, who stares back from behind his blood stained Stormtrooper helmet. What does he notice? The Force ability suddenly present in this young serviceman?
Let's answer that in a moment.
How about the Millennium Falcon? We see both Rey, who's we ok now is Force sensitive and Finn, who we know little about, reassuring themselves that they, "...can do this." We see the effect of Rey marshalling her abilities. She flies the Falcon like she is born to do it. Finn? Well Finn gets off a couple of good shots and then has to wait until Rey can use the Force to set him up for victory. Does that mean Finn is Force sensitive or not? Hmmm...
In Maz's Castle, the elderly pirate, who seems to be in touch with the Force, senses something about Rey, but she also spends time studying Finn. What does she mean about seeing the same eyes in people through time? The simple assumption to make is that some souls are reincarnated. That Maz is seeing these older souls in the younger people. So is Rey a reincarnated Anakin, Obi-Wan or another Jedi? Is Finn?
What about that Lightsaber? The Skywalker Lightsaber. Maz believes it is destined for Rey. That it spoke to her. Then she gives it to Finn, why? Is Finn a promising young Jedi and Maz sees this? What about when Finn lets loose with that weapon?
When Finn first uses the Lightsaber we see him square off against FN-2099, or TR-8R if you're a fan of the meme. The Stormtrooper holds his ground against Finn pretty well with that riot baton. Is it because Finn is a newbie at this Lightsaber business? Or was that shot designed to communicate something to us about Finn? Again we will come to a conclusion in just a second.
The last time Finn uses the Lightsaber is against Kylo Ren. He does not fare well. One can not help but think that Kylo Ren is toying with Finn, the way a cat toys with a mouse before the kill. He soon dispatches FInn, and that's the last we see of a healthy Finn in this episode. What's going on with Finn?
In the audio book of Alan Dean Foster's The Force Awakens novelisation we hear that during Finn's confrontation with Kylo Ren, Finn is unaware of the force (small f) that Kylo Ren is tapped into during their fight. The energy field that seems to be driving Kylo Ren is a mystery to Finn. That's our biggest clue that Finn is a Star Wars muggle, as in; not Force sensitive at all.
Earlier we spoke about the moment Kylo Ren senses something in Finn. That moment I believe has more to do with Kylo Ren than Finn. I think Kylo Ren is sensing compassion from Finn, an emotion the First Order would have spent a life time ridding these Stormtrooper of. Kylo Ren, we learn in the novelisation, sees compassion as a weakness, the very reason Darth Vader failed to maintain the Sith. Compassion for his son, Luke. Kylo Ren senses the compassion in Finn, that's why he stops and studies the Stormtrooper.
How about the Falcon scene. Again, less about Finn, more about Rey. Finn becomes a force, a force driving Rey to take action she wouldn't ordinarily take. His relative failure in the gun pod, pushes Rey to use her skills and does nothing to develop Finn's.
When Maz studies Finn and comments on his eyes, she is pointing out that Finn is being motivated by fear and a desire to distance himself from the First Order. She is essentially calling him a coward. But she does understand his affection for Rey and that's why she passes the Lightsaber to him. Because she knows he will get it to Rey eventually. Maz gives no indication that Finn has a hidden destiny. He seems to be her only hope.
The Lightsaber duel with FN-2099 is designed to show that at least some, but probably all Stormtroopers are trained in close quarter melee combat. That's why Finn can use the Lightsaber as well as he can. If he were to tap into the Force he would be swinging that thing like Rey does at the end. Finn simply struggles with the weapon in both fights he has with it.
Finally, there is Finn's apparent importance to the marketing of Star Wars The Force Awakens. Someone needed to be seen with that Lightsaber. And it was extremely important that Rey's use of it was kept secret until the movie itself. That's the realm reveal of The Force Awakens; Rey's Force ability. Whomever she turns out to be. Finn was simply a smoke screen, but a terribly important one.
Finn is not a lesser character for being a 'muggle', he is more of a character. Finn's courage and nobility is more pronounced because he is a normie. If he were a quasi-superhero Jedi, something about his character would be diminished. I love that Finn goes headlong into these situations, with the odds stacked against him, driven by compassion and a sense of what's right. To me Finn is more admirable as a regular hero, like Han Solo in the original trilogy. It makes the risks he takes more impactful and the odds he faces more intimidating. Ultimately it makes the sacrifices these characters make, more devastating, because they're just like you or me...
Thank you for reading,