TLJ: Finn & Rose

This is Part IV and the finale of an ongoing series where I review The Last Jedi.

 

Finn and Rose were the heroes that had me the least enthused. I’ve never really loved Finn, even in TFA, but he propelled the storyline forward and got a few laughs out of me. In this movie, they amplified Finn’s bad qualities and then paired him with a forever-hopeful sidekick so that she could reform him in a subliminal sort of way.

I’ve read a lot of complaints about the character Rose and how useless she was. I admit, I found her to a be a little bland and when paired with Finn (whom I also find bland), their storyline was the slowest. But if you think that Rose was useless, then you are missing the point of her character. Sure, she may not have been the most interesting but her character was there to bring Finn wholeheartedly into the Resistance. Finn’s allegiance to the Resistance was only because of Rey, and when in by himself, he wants to run.

Finn is a constant deserter. He deserted the First Order. He deserted Rey on Takodana. He tried to desert the Resistance at the opening of this movie.

What the directors needed to do was to create a character that motivates Finn to have a change of heart and stay with the Resistance DESPITE everything he knows about the First Order and how they obliterate everything in their path. It’s a fine line to walk because on one hand, Finn knows how ruthless the First Order is. The characters should logically jump ship as soon as he can (he tries). On the other hand, Finn needs to stay with the Resistance.

Enter Rose. Poe is too busy being a flyboy and causing trouble on the ship with his own story line. Rey is off training with Luke. So when creating the story of the Last Jedi, they needed to create someone new and that someone was Rose.

But unfortunately for Rose, her naïve optimism comes off as boring. Yet Finn needs to be around someone who has blind faith in the Resistance, is not jaded despite the fact that her sister died, but has a slight melancholy back story to give her a bit of depth. When Finn goes to sacrifice himself at the end of the movie and Rose saves him, she shows Finn (and us) that death is not always the most beneficial way to help a cause. Sometimes you need to save people as well.

Did I love Rose? No. Was I appreciative of her character? Yes.

Canto Bight

Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – namely the city of Canto Bight. After a lot of hype, it fell a little flat. The problem with these scenes is that I think it could have been expanded and some of the Resistance scenes cut shorter. It had the potential to be a refreshing break from the slow, dark Resistance vs. First Order scenes, but it instead became too much, too fast.

The only purpose I can think of for this scene is that it gets them in touch with DJ (whom I loved, but that’s a post for another time). By getting in touch with DJ, it gets Finn into the First Order, where he has his final battle against Phasma, and Finn & Rose realize literally that “loose lips sink ships”. Not everyone can be trusted, and DJ is the perfect example of this as he sells them out to the First Order.

But was there another way to get DJ into the picture? Did they have to go to Canto Bight, get locked in jail, and escape on fathiers? It was a very twisted way to get Finn and Rose into the First Order and have a betrayal. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just meet DJ at some random place and not race fathiers and get locked in jail?

What is, is. No use saying I would have done it differently, but I do believe Canto Bight could have been a missed chance on something a lot more interesting had they played with the timing of the movie a bit more.

 

Did you enjoy Canto Bight? Do you think it should have been cut from the movie?

And what about Rose? Did you like her character?

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8 thoughts on “TLJ: Finn & Rose

  1. Enjoyed this series, you should do more like them.

    “He tried to desert the Resistance at the opening of this movie.” wasn’t this just to prevent Rey from following the beacon back to the doomed Resistence fleet?

    I could have done without Canto Bright. it was like the pod races in TPM and the smuggler fight in TFA; there were other ways to introduce DJ and get him to betray Finn.

    PS did you miss my comment on your last post?

  2. Hello Kiri, I managed to miss most of the Canto Bight story as I went to the refreshments counter but even the short bit I saw from the “Jail break” seemed a little rushed. However the introduction of a character with a “Grey” morality in the form of DJ was good (p.s. apparently D.J. stands for “Don’t Join”, quite apt!)

  3. I entirely agree with your assessment of Canto Bight. Had a lot of potential but just was too much filler in this movie. I liked Rose a lot and I’m glad they didn’t kill her off because it really seemed like they were going to for a minute there.
    I didn’t think Finn’s story arc was as strong in this movie as in TFA which is a shame. Poe and Rey really took center stage here and it kinda seemed like they didn’t know what to do with Finn?

  4. I think the reason for Finn’s flat character are due to the lack of planning for this trilogy. It seems like JJ went into Episode VII without actively discussing with the writer/director of Episode VIII for themes, character arcs, and storylines to tie into together. Finn and Rose are truly bland but I do like that the Canto Bight sequence does take us to some uncharted places of Star Wars by showing us the underground, hidden corruption going on in the background of the space skirmishes and lightsaber duels. Love the post!

    1. Thanks! I believe Abrams did talk to Johnson a bit, at least that’s what I read, but I’m not sure how much Rian cared or listened. That’s the thing with having different directors… It’s good to see a fresh take and sometimes interesting, but that can lead to a lack of cohesiveness when you tie the movies together.

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