The Finn Problem

Written by: Smokyquartz

Remember when Star Wars fans hated Finn? I do. When the first teaser trailer of the long awaited Sci-Fi epic dropped, the first image we saw was a black man in storm trooper armor. That somehow sparked anger in many peoples hearts and comment sections everywhere were a warzone. It got so bad that articles were written and the actor himself had to address it on social media. A couple trailers later, a lot of fans still had negative things to say about a character we knew nothing about, especially when they saw him with a lightsaber and a romantic subplot was hinted at with the white female lead. For fans like me we were ecstatic to see a black man in a major role in a Star Wars movie. Star Wars has never treated its black characters bad but it also never featured them in prominent roles like this. Me and other Finn supporters did battle almost everyday with the raciest online about Finn’s role and his future role in the Star Wars mythos. Then the movie came out… and those fans who seemed to have all those problems with him have gone missing. I wonder why?

Overall, I thought the movie was good with many flaws and one of them was Finn sadly. He like the rest of the movie looks like it has endless potential to be a certified classic but ends falling short of expectations. John Boyega is that dude and he made Finn ten times better than he should have been but it wasn’t good enough to salvage the mess that had been made. In the marketing campaign Finn was portrayed as a competent hero but instead we got a character who was Jar Jar Binks done properly. I already know how I feel about Finn is subjective so this article is not delve into my grievances to much. The Finn problem is my desire to be represented by white media instead of making the heroes I want myself. Finn is just another long line of black male characters who I thought were treated with disrespect in Hollywood movies. Either we are stoic one note characters or we are cowardly lions whose whole arc is finding “bravery”. Don’t get me started on the side kick role they like to put us in. Sometimes we are side kicks in our own movie. For example in the movie Django Unchained the so called MAIN character Django had little depth especially compared to his so called co stars. Damn near everything he did had to be approved by Dr. Schultz who seemed like the real star of the movie. This trend of the black sidekick is also prevalent in Blade 3 were the MAIN was treated as a side kick to Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel even though Wesley Snipes made the series pop. Besides, for a few instances like Mace Windu from Star Wars, T’challa from Civil War, or the black male characters in Independence Day Resurgence, Hollywood ain’t got much to offer from to black male characters. At the end of the day it is my fault for hoping for anything more from white owned media. I mean does anyone want a character like Finn to represent them?

Now lets get one thing out the way real quick. This does not mean that I’m am not gonna to continue to call out raciest descriptions of black male characters when i see it but at the same time I’m not gonna let it get to me the way it used too. After I watched the movie I became inspired to make my own film industry featuring the things i want to see on screen so that other black kids don’t have to feel like their represented by another people. I am still sorta excited to see the next Star Wars films, gonna be there opening night for Black Panther, and other great movies Hollywood has to offer. Its just that in the meantime i will be making my own as well.

Author: FTESWL

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2 thoughts

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this article. I love what Star Wars is doing with lead female roles and the impact Rey has in empowering young women. However, Finn is truly the first Star Wars character I can connect with along with many other African Americans. I would love to see a black man play the role of a Luke Skywalker or even just a Jedi. How Finn is being betrayed is very disheartening.

    1. The only way we can turn this into a positive is that we make our own heroes and not relay on outsiders.

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