The force Awakens is upon us and two of the most anticipated characters introduced in the hype of these films were used in the most unexpected ways.
From the media and marketing we were definitely expecting Finn to go from stormtrooper the most disposable characters in the galaxy, to Jedi, the most revered because every image we got of him was either in the trooper suit or with lightsaber in hand.
With Phasma we expected the actual first Stormtrooper Badass, not the CN clone troopers, an actual in movie live action Trooper taking rebels (resistance fighters) DOWN. Why expect that? Have you seen the gangster that is Brienne of Tarth on GoT?
What was delivered was a lot of mouth breathing from Finn and a lot of standing and walking from Phasma. And more disappointing is the fact that both characters are overshadowed and upstaged by the other members of their respective factions.
SPOILERS there is a Stormtrooper who wields a VIBROSWORD (the only weapon in the galaxy effective against a lightsaber) that is modded into a tonfa (excessively cool Okinawan martial arts weapon) that gets into this epic duel with the lightsaber toting Finn– the only problem is that this trooper is NOT PHASMA.
PAUSE — This should have been Phasma vs Finn.
Incredibly disappointing, not only does it unnecessarily steal focus, and makes Finn look even less formidable when he loses , but it also misses an opportunity to give Finn and Phasma’s relationship more gravity.
Imagine: Commander Phasma an elite Trooper trained in anti Jedi combat including resisting mind tricks, Saber dueling, and Tera Kasi (Star Wars Kung Fu). She selects only a handful of Troopers as successors including FN24601 with whom to conduct strict and grueling training. They battle at mah’s wrecked cantina where she bests him. He is only saved due to the quick reflexes of Han Solo as the Resistance X-wings pass overhead attacking the First order ground units.
She is injured by that blaster fire from Han but not severly because chrome. (geek reason: Her Ultrachrome armor refracts blaster fire like to how the vibrosword refracts the beam of a lightsaber.) When they sneak into the base it is revealed that she is alive, nursing the injury helmet siting beside her (but shot so we still do not see her face). Finn returns back that line about the helmet from earlier and we proceed as filmed.
Phasma was not seen in any action, not on a turret taking out resistance fighters or even a tie fighter, (side note: who is the sharpshooting trooper who takes them out?) basically there is no reason presented to revere this character other than her paint job and accent. Even Commander Hitler guy pumps up the troops and even defies Kylo ‘the tantrum’ Ren. She is perhaps the most underused of all.
For Finn I mostly blame myself for getting my hopes up some many times about his expected force sensitivity (lowkey: every poster has him juxtaposed against Kylo and holding a lightsaber) but still, all those moments could have been used as subtle hints at his growth in the force. Like I stated earlier, the idea of going from trooper to jedi was one that I was expecting as far as bring fresh blood to the franchise, and the idea of new yet familiar. I had envisioned this redemptive journey for someone to go from oppressor to savior.
Continue to Imagine: Phasma reprimanding Finn for removing his mask, suggesting that his training (anti-jedi) might be beyond him. (Maybe he is interested in Jedi or not interested in slaughter because his lessons about Jedi and the rebels, lessons that are affecting him subconsciously)
LATER– Phasma recants back to the day she selected him as she is now hostage “you had such promise” “she says before lowering the shields.
But, on to another note, why not use his real speaking voice?
PAUSE– Boyega is from the UK…
There is plenty reason for an Imperial/ First Order trooper to have an accent, especially surrounded by all the officers that have them. Granted, the few troopers who have dialogue in the movies happen to either sound like Jango (prequels) or a random standard American diction. The officers in the Empire however, often have that distinct british twang. In most of the lore and games, the imperials are distunguished by that dialect.
Intentionally following that trend in Phamsa and Finn would have highlighted their importance once more. Also the common expectation that accompanies a british accent is expected sophistication, so why would Rey have it (instead of Finn)? Rey a scavenger stuck on a craphole of a planet since youth shows more command over language than an imperial soldier trained from birth?
What is done is done. We had a great opening act and are still left with two movies full of questions and opportunities for these two underdogs. So here is what I hope might be in store!
Has to wake up, has to provide more than a few jokes and decent shots. I mean with this new spine, perhaps he will become the first disabled Star Wars bad ass, (Vader’s asthma doesn’t count) maybe a Professor X style hover chair with friggin’ lasers, cause he is good at lasers.
And if this is indeed a love story, the events have to assert his importance in Rey’s world because FA was more than a bit one sided.
Going a bit left field, there is opportunity to build a romance between Poe and Finn. Not based out of fan service but character progression. We have Rey who has straight up ditched Finn. Perhaps in her absence Finn finds belonging and companionship needed by spending more time with Poe and the Resistance (Poe Needs a gunner right?). The relationship blossoms and can be implied subtly and revealed in the last chapter of our saga. Not just gay to meet a diversity quota, thrown out there without relevance to the plot. I mean well developed through genuine storytelling and action that could be inclusive and progressive. are friends, they like each other, they have chemistry, it is plausible…
Needs to assert herself as a force to be reckoned with, that means she has to escape the destruction of the Starkiller, and she has to coordinate some type of successful attack against the resistance, Phasma will up the ante in the next film before it all comes to a head…
Overall, We already know that the battle with the highest stakes is already set between Ren and Rey but what has potential the to be just as satisfying is the final clash between Phasma, a shaken leader who becoming increasingly erratic and the problematic and unpredictable Finn who couldn’t follow orders and refuses, but is forced to take a stance these wars… these Star Wars. BUM BUMM (cue exit scroll).
But what do you think about Finn and Phasma? Where they everything you expected? What would you like to see out of them in the episodes to come?
Let us know, in the comments below…
Happy New Year!