No, and That’s a Stupid Question. (Is Finn Useless?)

Onyx Contributor:  Johnny Silvercloud (@JohnnySilverclo)

Reflexes against stupidity

It’s a bit unfortunate that I’m writing this right now.  A person like myself prefers to give actual movie reviews first, but recently I saw a blog so inherently flawed I had to write this before the actual movie review.  This is my response to the blog, JAQing off asking the question, “Is Finn (John Boyega) the most useless character in Star Wars since Jar Jar Binks?”  Before we continue, allow me to point this out:

Probable Spoilers Ahead (Common Sense)


There’s a difference between the actor and the character

The first problem, among others, is the fact that the blogger seems to dip between attacking the actor versus attacking the character.  Perhaps the blogger doesn’t understand how movie/character review/assessments work and can’t distinguish the difference between the actor versus the character.  The fact that the blogger felt the need to add the actor’s name to the title (John Boyega) to the title to compare him to the character Jar Jar Binks (without adding the actor for Jar Jar) speaks measures.  Does the writer have a problem with actor John Boyega, or the character Finn?  I’ll let you decide.  I’ll just do everyone a favor by addressing the character only, instead of adding confusion.

Those Storm Troopers

I’ll point out that there’s one thing I do agree on that I believe the blogger could have been alluding to:  more character development.  It would have been a better deal if Finn actually committed the massacre at the village, only to find inner-conflict during or after the event.  There could have been more interaction between him and his non-clone unit when they got back to base.  He could have had two comrades which he was the Freudian trio of:  one friend who is a hyper-emotional, bloodlusting maniac who would do anything for rank and a calm, cold blooded killer battle buddy who is a nonchalant tool of the system.  This could have been explored deeply; the bloodlusting friend could have been the guy who “felt” some way about seeing him again (the guy who called him “traitor” with the light saber defense weapon), or better, he actually moves up in rank and becomes a bigger problem later.  Those two comrades could have been “those two hot and cold blooded guys” who moved up in rank with the specific purpose of hunting Finn down.  Storm troopers are kind of like that final frontier in identities to explore in Star Wars, so yes, I believe they missed a moment there.  Had Finn actually murdered villagers, the actions he took afterward wouldn’t seem so forced because we have shared his traumatic experience.  Unfortunately this has nothing to do with the actor, and everything to do with the writer.  But yes — hell yes — participating in the massacre would have gave him more depth.

This word you use, I don’t think it means what you think it means

The second and bigger problem with the critique is the blogger’s definition or use of the word “useless”.  In asking if the character Finn was “useless” the blogger exposes his own ignorance which is deep enough to drown in.  For those who lack an attention span, Finn moves the plot, so from any objective standard he isn’t useless at all.  Not even close.  Without Finn, resistance ace pilot Poe Dameron’s mission to find the BB-8 droid would have never been completed, and we’d have no epic saga.  Technically we could end this column right there, but due to the fact that I hate stupidity, I’m going to continue.

“He rescues Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a captured Resistance pilot and they take off.  The pilot is shown to be far savvier than he is.”

Here the blogger shows a profound amount of stupidity.  The pilot is shown to be savvy…. as a pilot.  Had Finn rescued a dentist and the dentist then performed a root canal… that’s doesn’t mean there’s a problem with Finn.  It means that the person who is good at their profession is good at their profession.  If Poe is supposed to be let’s say, more competent than Finn, then why doesn’t Poe Jason Bourne his way out of the First Order’s base himself?  Poe had help because Finn knew something that Poe did not, meaning Finn is not only useful, but is competent, which needs to be said being that the blogger seems to take ridiculous shots at the character’s design.  Not every Soldier can sneak a detainee off of a military installation, so if grounded on reality, Finn is a whole lot better than what this Amardyno makes him out to be.

Even further is the fact that Finn is ground forces personnel who normally don’t leave base.  Technically he’s what the military calls a “fobbit” who was pulled from base to perform riot control/raid activity.  Finn’s rank seems to between a Private or a Specialist, while actual pilots are most likely officers such as Captains or higher, like in real life.  If storm troopers function like real life, then there’s also a difference between Army and Air Force.  This means that while viewers don’t really know the difference between storm troopers at all (like how people call everything “army”), within the military-industrial-complex in Star Wars there’s a difference between those who fly and those who are on the ground.  If this proves true, which is highly likely, then the blogger fails to comprehend two divisions:  divisions of rank, and divisions of branch of service.  Finn isn’t supposed to be savvy in aircraft flight in the same way an infantryman isn’t savvy in flying a F22 Raptor.

Poe is technically an officer of the Resistance.  Officer, of the resistance.  In comparison to a Private from the First Order, Finn.  Really. Come on now.

“Also due to Finn’s constant bickering, their stolen TIE Fighter gets shot down.”

This is where the author of the blog shows negative bias.  Perhaps they got shot down due to the fact that they were outnumbered with odds against them.  Perhaps storm trooper pilots have a bit of skill in being, well, pilots.  It’s like sports; there’s offense and defense, and maybe a TIE fighter isn’t made for defense.  The blogger also fails to understand what “bickering” is, which didn’t take place at all.  At this point I wouldn’t trust this blogger with a review of a Robot Chicken special.

“When he arrives on Jakku, he runs into Rey who knocks him on his ass because she thought he was a thief.  Like an insecure twit, he lies about his background to her. “

Once again, stupid as hell.  I’m not too sure about Storm Trooper prestige outside of the First Order, but maybe calling yourself a Storm Trooper outside of the refines of your base isn’t the best thing in the world to do.  Finn is the spiritual successor of Han Solo, so this means he’s dirty, he’s not above lying, etc.  Finn is the new lovable rogue.  Also by calling himself a Resistance fighter, technically Finn is correct; who can argue?  By the time he decided to defect from the First Order he legitimately joined the Resistance.  Good luck arguing against that one.

Being that Finn has a defined enemy, what good would it prove for him to “knock” Rey “on her ass”?  He has a defined enemy and a defined mission, on top of a clearly defined morality.  He’s not going to go full storm trooper a random chick.

“They are later chased by the enemy and Rey, a scavenger on a godawful planet is shown to be more adept at survival than scaredy cat Finn.”

This author fails to comprehend a lot of things, as if the blogger is a child with a below-average IQ.  One shouldn’t have to hold one’s hand Barney style, and explain things that should be IMPLIED.  Common sense alert — Rey is FROM that planet as a scavenger — OF COURSE she’s adept at survival on her own home turf.

“She can fly the Millennium Falcon better than the owner Han Solo–“

He’s old.  And one movie doesn’t define “better than Han Solo”.  This author is clearly deficient of critical thinking capability.

“–and can also kick multiple ass better than Luke Skywalker.”

If that’s the case then why does she needs to seek him out for training?  If you seen this movie already, I’m not going to call this author an idiot anymore because you are probably doing it already.  Like, wow.

“Later, he decides that shit is getting too real and wants to get as far away from everyone as possible.  Only later does he change his mind because the gorgeous Rey has been captured by Kylo Ren despite the fact that it is already apparent he has been friend-zoned.”

I could point out that “let’s scram” trope is always found in epic saga movies, to include the best role-playing games, but I rather point out the “friend-zoned” thing this blogger claimed.  Rey and Finn met like, yesterday… and it’s now ever-so-apparent that’s there’s a friend-zone there?  What exactly are your expectations?  What do you think this is, late time Cinemax?  Okay turbo, maybe you need to be writing something other than movie reviews.

“Finn mostly excels at talking non-stop like most minority characters in movies.”

Can you list these movies please?  Because from there, I can list numerous movies where there’s a white character doing the same character trope.  You are petty.

“Finn hoodwinks the top brass at the Resistance, telling them that he has all the intel on the new Death Star…”

..But he did though… more than anyone there in the Resistance, mind you.  Once again, moving the plot, thus, very useful.

“He later confesses that he is a glorified janitor to a justifiably pissed off Han Solo.  Later he watches on helplessly as Han is skewered by his douche of a son Kylo.”

Han Solo was hilariously shocked, not pissed.  And everyone present watched Han Solo get killed by Kylo.  That’s Rey, as well as Chewbacca.  Would you argue that Chewbacca as useless too?  Would you also call Rey useless?  You know, the girl who is primed to be the next Jedi, based on your low standards and poor judgment?

“The grandson of Vader demands that he hand over Luke’s light saber which is when Finn utters the only badass line he has in the movie:  “Come get it.”

I’m not understanding the issue here.  Is he supposed to utter one-liners the whole movie?  Wouldn’t that be something else to snivel about?  Once again, the blogger is displaying how petty he/she is.

I agree that it blows that dude was in a coma for the last part of the movie, but that has nothing to do with the character or actor, and all to do with the writing.  Overall I do believe that there could have been more character development, better character development.  But the notion of him being useless?  That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard regarding the Star Wars franchise.  Comically, Finn’s character was more useful then the well-received role Samuel L. Jackson played, Mace Windu.  In fact all Mace Windu did was sit around until the last minute, and based on his storied skill, shouldn’t have been killed.  Further than that would be the fact that Finn did more in one movie than the whole Jedi Counsel did in the last trilogy.  

To not beat down the dense blogger too much, could Finn be annoying?  Perhaps, I suppose, but that’s an opinion not a fact.  Being annoying is a personal take versus being useful which is a concept that can be quantified.  Could Finn be more annoying than Jar Jar Binks?  I’ll have to question that blogger’s sanity if that was the question.

Overall, I’ve been asked to answer to this ridiculous blog and instead of saying the same thing in a thousand Facebook discussions, my friends can read this here and share it in the same manner they shared the crap ass review.

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant

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