Prior to the release of The Rise of Skywalker, director J.J. Abrams said the movie would explore Finn’s backstory in further detail. Now that it’s in theaters, it seems Episode IX confirms a longstanding theory about Finn’s connection to the Force, and it may have a big impact on the future of Star Wars.
Warning! Major spoilers ahead of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The Force Awakens dropped several clues that Finn may have been Force-sensitive, but we didn’t see much evidence for that in The Last Jedi while he was off galumphing on Canto Bight. As a former stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter, Finn’s story offered a unique spin on good and evil in the world of Star Wars. Prior to his introduction, stormtroopers were portrayed mostly as silent minions. Episode IX reveals that his journey has been influenced by the Force, seemingly confirming he does have some Jedi-like abilities after all.
Ahead of The Rise of Skywalker, one popular theory argued Finn also experienced the titular Force awakening in Episode VII, though on a much smaller scale than Rey. The theory was backed up by several pieces of evidence, including the fact that Kylo Ren paused on the way to his ship to give Finn a hard glare. Perhaps he sensed the Force in the former stormtrooper but dismissed it.
The Rise of Skywalker provides more substantial evidence that Finn is Force-sensitive. When he meets Jannah, they talk about having a distinct feeling right before defecting from the First Order. Later, Finn also senses the exact moment Rey dies. In this way, Finn’s story parallels Rey’s in The Force Awakens. Without knowing his parents or where he came from, Finn experiences the Force without realizing it. Episode IX also implies those innate skills compelled both him and Jannah to escape the First Order in the first place.
Whereas Rey learned her ties to Emperor Palpatine made her strong in the Force, Finn exemplifies the Last Jedi idea that the Force isn’t linked to lineage at all. Anyone can be Force-sensitive, even Broom Boy! Confirming Finn is Force-sensitive in The Rise of Skywalker not only lends credence to fan speculation but offers a clue to where the Star Wars films might be headed in the future.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said that when it comes to telling new Star Wars stories, the “Force is the foundation”. Meanwhile, Abrams reinforced the idea that “anyone could be a Jedi” and that lineage was unimportant. John Boyega has also been vocal about his willingness to return for a future Star Wars film, meaning the possibilities for the character’s future in the franchise are endless. (As long as he doesn’t misplace any more scripts.)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now in theaters.