Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega)..Photo: David James..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi each tell incredible stories, but which Star Wars film treated the sequel trilogy’s characters better?
The Star Wars sequel trilogy’s success is largely grounded in its ability to blend beloved characters of old with fascinating new characters as well.
The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi obviously share many connections, but each film also has its own unique tone and approach. As a result, certain characters were better developed, given more focus, and ultimately treated better by either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi.
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We’ve compiled a list of 12 characters that appeared in both films, and explained which one did a better job with each of the chosen characters. As such, characters who only appeared in one of the films such as Han Solo or Rose Tico are ineligible.
Each film has its own strengths and weaknesses, which heavily influenced the treatment of the leading characters and our opinions about which treatment was superior.
Finn (The Force Awakens)
Finn’s journey is easily one of the best things about The Force Awakens. As an ex-Stormtrooper trying to survive and get a fresh start, Finn is unlike any character audiences encountered in previous Star Wars films.
His self-doubt is refreshing and relatable for a leading protagonist. Finn shows tremendous heart and undergoes some terrific character development, growing from someone who just wants to escape the First Order to someone who demonstrates incredible bravery and risks everything to help Rey and stand up to Kylo Ren.
John Boyega and Daisy Ridley have fantastic chemistry, making all the Finn-Rey scenes a treat to watch and solidifying their relationship among the strongest of the sequel trilogy. He brings some delightful humor to the movie as well.
There are some good moments with Finn in The Last Jedi, yet his overall arc feels like a retread of his journey from The Force Awakens. It seemed like he’d already made his choice to not just run from the First Order, but to actively oppose them by fighting with the Resistance.
It seemed unnecessary for his character to essentially undergo that journey again, just with different circumstances this time. Finn has decent chemistry with Rose Tico, but it’s nothing like the chemistry he had with Rey, and the forced kiss between Finn and Rose didn’t help either.
The Last Jedi did a lot of things right, but Finn’s story is one area that the film couldn’t quite nail. Hopefully his story will feel more progressive for his character growth in The Rise of Skywalker.