[Editor’s Update 12/08/2015: The guys over on Jedi-Bibliothek discovered that iTunes have revealed some preview pages for the Before The Awakening book by Greg Rucka, which goes more into detail about our heroes before the movie. The preview pages puts the focus on Finn, and pretty much confirms ALL of the details we have exclusively revealed to you a month ago. While they’re not actually training with Lightsabers, it shows that they are given training with a shield and stick like weapon, meaning they could weild a blade pretty easily. It also confirms that Finn is one of the best soldiers the First Order has, which explains why Phasma would take so much interest in him.
As you go around the web with this, please remember that you heard it hear first! The original, unchanged, scoop is below.]
Original Article Posted on 10/02/2015: We’re nearly there people. Almost to the end. Only two and a half months to go before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters and the mystery box is done away with. At the end of last week, Lucasfilm announced another round of books that would launch on December 18th, to coincide with the film, that would explore more about the new characters and how things got to where they are at the time of Force Awakens. All kinds of things will be answered come December, but for now, we might be able to shed some light on Finn.
Before I go much further here, I’m going to give the old SPOILER WARNING. There are some details here which could be considered spoilers, so if you’re avoiding them, go ahead and back up now…
Still here? Okay. I’m going to discuss three tidbits of information relating to John Boyega’s The Force Awakens character. The information themselves are solid, coming from sources I trust, but I’m also going to do some speculating on the implications beyond that as well. I’ll make sure you know, which is which!
Let’s start off with Finn’s name. Since we were only ever given the one name, many have speculated what his full name would be and how it would impact the film. The truth? Well, according to our sources Finn is pretty much his ONLY name. Well technically, he’s FN-2187 (which we learned from the dialog given out by both his and Captain Phasma’s talking toys).
The First Order isn’t huge on names, and much like the Empire before them, have all of their people go strictly by numbers and designations. We’ve seen this big time in the new Canon novels, with the book Lost Stars going so far as to explain:
“In command-track courses at the academy, the teachers had counseled them that they couldn’t think of their troops as individuals; to do so would lead only to hesitation and thus defeat. They protected their people by forgetting they were people…”
It’s something we saw start off with The Clone Wars, where the clones are given numbers rather than names. Much like the clones, it sounds as though troopers in The First Order come up with nicknames. Rather than picking a flashy name to go by, he simply goes by Finn, using the first two letters of his designation. This is because he apparently doesn’t remember the name he was born with. The implication here of course, being that the First Order recruits young…Young enough that their soldiers don’t remember anything BUT their designation.
Finn’s Lightsaber knowledge. We’ve heard rumors about Finn using a lightsaber long before Star Wars confirmed it with the D23 poster and mini-tease on Instagram…But what does that mean? Many have jumped to the idea that Finn is in fact a Force user and setting up to be another Jedi waiting/needing to be trained. There’s another reason, however, that Finn knows how to handle a Lightsaber that has nothing to do with the Force.
The First Order gives their troops combat training with a Lightsaber and a shield. I’m not entirely clear on how this will pop up in the movie, but it sounds like there could be a quick line of dialog explaining this, or even a glimpse of training. Again, things weren’t clear on how this comes up, but it’s the real reason he handles a Lightsaber in the film and doesn’t look like a novice.
[UPDATE: Since some are taking this WAY out of context, let me clarify. I’m not saying all the Stormtroopers carry around Lightsabers in the film and use them. I said they have TRAINING in how to use them. Again, not sure why, but that’s not saying they all walk around with them.]
This makes sense for the First Order troopers to know, as we’ve seen how much JJ Abrams have turned to Ralph McQuarrie’s original Star Wars designs for influence on The Force Awakens. One of the most iconic of those pieces is his initial Stormtrooper design, where the trooper has both a Lightsaber and a shield.
Sounds like they wanted to get back to that look, and hey, we know a couple of the Hasbro Black Series figures coming up is a trooper WITH a shield (though no Lightsaber, but we could assume this is intentionally left out). This would make sense as to how Finn is able to hold his own (even if it’s just for a little bit) with Kylo Ren in the little bit of footage we’ve seen from the trailers.
WHY the First Order wants to train their troops with a Lightsaber…I have no idea. Hopefully that’s something explored in the film or one of the many books coming out, but for now, I can only SPECULATE on why. My guess, is that it has something to do with the Knights of Ren and their general philosophy. After all, the Lightsaber is considered a weapon of the Jedi so perhaps the Knights of Ren encourage everyone to train with it in order to be “disrespectful” or take away some of the importance of it from the Jedi, or to prepare for the ‘threat’ of their return. Again, that’s just speculation on my part.
I’ll leave off with one last little tidbit…Apparently Finn is Captain Phasma’s protege of sorts. I don’t know to what degree, but it sounds like she takes the trooper under her wing during training. This would explain why Finn is part of a mission with Phasma and Kylo at the beginning of the movie, and could be part of the reason why she takes a more personal interest in tracking him down. As we already mentioned, we know there’s dialog where she seems to be speaking with him directly, so she knows him more than the average trooper in some way.
While we have to wait to see how all of these details play out on the big screen, I hope this information can sate you and fill in some blanks as we wait these last couple months. As I said, there’s some speculation here, but the basics is that he goes by his call sign, doesn’t remember his name, has prior training with a Lightsaber from the First Order, and has stronger ties to Captain Phasma.
What do you guys think?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2015.