If you’ve listened to our podcast recently, you may have heard us talking about Finn, and why he refers to Han Solo not only as “the Rebellion General”, but as a “war hero”. It’s a line easily dismissed in the thrill of being reunited with Han Solo after 32 years. Surely one cannot be faulted for filing Finn’s line, and relegating it to the throwaway line bin.
But now that we’ve all had the chance to get multiple viewings of the bluray under our belts (you HAVE watched it multiple time, right?), we can now marinate in every single syllable, probably to the detriment of our sanity. On the podcast, James has said that not a word in a Star Wars script goes unconsidered. Nothing is said by accident, or without reason. I believe that to be true. The script is read and revised by a lot of people who refine and refine again.So what’s with Finn calling Han a “war hero”? Taken from birth and programmed according to the First Order’s curriculum, Finn would never have heard the words “war hero” and “Han Solo” in the same paragraph, never mind the same sentence. So what gives here?
I see a few different possible explanations:
- Finn is special and has an innate ability to unlearn everything he’s learned in short order. If Finn was capable of re-contextualizing everything that he was force-fed during the course of his life, then truly he is this trilogy’s moral compass. Yoda would be proud.
Not all First Order troops are given the same brainwashing. I asked this question to our friends over at Talk Star Wars, and Marc‘s answer was enlightening. What if Finn wasn’t on the same program as the typical brainless stormtrooper? This seems like a viable possibility. If you’ve read Before The Awakening, then you know that Finn definitely stands apart from his fellow Stormtrooper trainees. A bit of an outsider among his mates, it’s possible that Finn was seen as different in the eyes of his officers from the very beginning.
While discussing this, Cory thought that one of the possibilities was a familiar one to anyone who grew up as a bit of a troublemaker. What if, as Cory said, Finn, either with, or without some pals snuck in to what passes for a library under the First Order and learns about the galactic civil war that took place 30 years before? The downside to this theory is that the First Order would certainly be master curators and not allow anything close to the truth to enter their library or archive. Another possibility might be that Finn accessed some kind of holofeed to learn about Han. Maybe this knowledge sparked a quest to learn more about the truth about galactic history, which led him to the First Order’s origins. Perhaps this is the first seed that sours him on his role within the First Order and sets him on the path to defection.
What if there’s an infiltrator within the ranks of the First Order? A Resistance sympathizer who has been covertly subverting First Order doctrine? The interesting parallel here is that Snoke somehow infiltrated Luke’s student, Han & Leia’s son, Ben, and brought him over to the dark side. The idea that both sides have been infiltrated is interesting to say the least.
Lastly, maybe the writers did make a mistake. A line crafted in order to set up Chewie’s hilarious, half-hearted shrug, as if he knows that Han is still more of a scoundrel than hero. This one seems to fly against our scrutiny theory, but jokes don’t write themselves – they have to be set up and the way it’s done in the final version of The Force Awakens works well. But it invites speculation because the First Order certainly doesn’t think of Han Solo as a war hero.