Remember when we didn't care about Rey's parents? Ir her connection to the Skywalker clan? Just five short years ago, the hype for The Force Awakens was partly centered around Finn, not Rey. He was the first person we saw in the first teaser for The Force Awakens and in nearly every poster and image for the movie, Finn brandished the famous blue-bladed Skywalker lightsaber.
Since then, John Boyega's Finn didn't really have the triumphant path those early images seemed to suggest. But, buried in the kitschy clutter of the new Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is a kind of potential redemption for the Star Wars sequels films. If there's anything from the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special that should be translated into actual Star Wars canon it's easily this: Finn needs to become a Jedi. Spoilers ahead.
Just to be clear, there is no reason to believe that anything in the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special should be taken seriously, relative to hardcore Star Wars fan theorizing. Like the rest of the Lego Star Wars stuff, this Holiday Special clearly exists outside of "official" canon, which is why the time-travel plot device and Luke Skywalker chugging a carton of blue milk shouldn't really be things anyone thinks too hard about. This is just all fun and games mostly aimed at children and mildly immature grown-ups, right?
Well, yes. While it's true that the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special scans more like a 47-minute-long commercial for Star Wars toys, it does contain at least one solid concept that could — and should – be translated into a live-action, or, at the very least, non-Lego project. The story of the new Holiday Special mostly revolves around Rey accidentally time traveling throughout Star Wars history, but her motivation to do so is actually the result of her failure to train Finn in the ways of the Force.
Arguably, this development is somewhat radical. While The Rise of Skywalker finally acknowledged that Finn had some latent Force-powers, it stopped short of saying whether or not Finn had Jedi potential. But, in The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, it's just a given that Rey would devote her free time post-Exegol to training Finn as a Jedi. Throughout the special Rey consults the Jedi texts, and does everything she can to become a better "Jedi Master" to her apprentice, Finn.
Mostly, this is played for laughs within the special itself, but you have to wonder: What if it wasn't? What if future in-canon comic, novel, or regular TV series actually dealt with Jedi-apprentice Finn directly? The results could be a lot more interesting than what we saw in the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, which, mostly used Finn's Jedi-training as a springboard story to do something zany with Rey. By the end of it, in theory, Rey has learned how to be a better Jedi master, and part of that lesson was that she had to stop focusing on herself and focus on her relationship with Finn.
While the new Holiday Special has some Star Wars self-criticism, it seems that the meta-commentary about Rey stealing Finn's spotlight was probably unintended. And yet, it's important. Although Finn did undergo a decent amount of character development from The Force Awakens to The Rise of Skywalker, his story seems incomplete. If John Boyega were ever to return to the role, a live-action mini-series about Finn becoming a Jedi could help to fix that lingering feeling. Star Wars fans don't really have closure with Finn, and the new Holiday Special isn't quite enough to get us feeling better about that.
That said, it seems highly unlikely Boyega would return to play Finn in anything short of a new feature film. In December 2019, the actor made it very clear that "You ain't' going to Disney Plus me!" in reference to the idea of playing Finn for a limited TV series. That said, this was before the COVID. Could Boyega feel differently about the value of streaming TV now? More importantly, could Disney and Lucasfilm see the possibility of a Finn-centric series now?
One of the most interesting aspects of Star Wars canon is something we've never really seen: The process in which someone becomes a Jedi. From Luke to Anakin, to Rey, the hard work of Jedi has (mostly) been glazed over. But, if we got some kind of story about Finn's Jedi Training, all of that could change. If Star Wars really wants to give us a present for the holidays it would simply be that: Let us see Finn become the Jedi he was meant to be.
The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is streaming on Disney+ now.