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  1. #1
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    Default Finn in *just* TFA > Kylo in all three ST films

    Okay, I’m not looking to start an fight... but I am looking to see how this argument holds up.

    TFA remains easily the highest grossing, least divisive, and generally most successful film in the ST. TLJ might have a slight critical edge in some circles, but it’s divisive reputation is by now infamous, and it never approached TFA’s box office haul in spite of the critics giving it good press. A good chunk of TFA’s success is easily placed on it being a pop culture event as the return of Star Wars... but the film also had freakishly good legs, and extremely positive word of mouth at the time of this release, among not just hard core fans but mainstream audiences as well.

    Now, the narrative in the wake of TROS is that while the Sequel Trilogy was financially successful, it wound up being somewhat less than it should - the ST is already being seen as a peer to the PT in terms of a breakdown in quality compared to the Original Trilogy... though for radically different reasons.

    And I’d say one of the signs of that fall in quality is that Finn, the original male lead in TFA, was transitioned out of the role in TLJ and got replaced by Kylo entirely by TROS... but so badly that Finn’s one film as the undisputed male lead has a much greater character arc than Kylo got in all three films, and that Boyega got to show more genuine range and charisma in that one film than a Driver had in all three, despite both men being great actors, and Driver being more experienced and more heralded in general as an up-and-coming star. Finn also remains the only real male character to have a good “reciprocal” relationship with Rey - the characters build each other up more than tear each other down, and he’s the only male lead she shared the screen with to not either steal the climax from her (Luke in TLJ) or “sabotage” the climax with inconsistencies and stupidity to get their own arc done (Ben in TROS).

    Honestly, that shouldn’t be the case - either Finn should have been followed up on an kept as the male lead to exploit the good in his TFA story, or Kylo/ en should have received writing to maximize the potential f his premise, instead of coasting on the expectations of it. Finn’s advantage is his unique character concept and strongly sympathetic story allowing for new types of conflicts to be brought up - he goes from a nameless and faceless henchman to a “Big Deal” in the Resistance in TFA - while Kylo has the advantages of iconography as a Star Wars villain (they always get the best looks) and being a Skywalker grandkid - a narrative point that was already a proven success before the Disney buyout of LFL, and which he wound up having a monopoly on.

    I say that part of TLJ and TROS’s problem is they both underestimate and dismiss the power of Finn’s character arc and relationship with Rey from TFA, and the potential he has in his concept.

    Finn basically went through a highly dynamic arc in TFA that was also extremely functional for a male lead - his POV is easy to follow, his emotional stakes grow to match the audience’s emotional stakes, and his dramatic moments are a success throughout, while again he’s Rey’s best screen partner for her role as the main protagonist.

    But then Finn got shuffled off into a meaningless side-plot in TLJ, paired up with a character who seems to have blatantly been made mostly to be a not-Rey love interest, while TLJ began trying to o rebuild Rey’s main relationship around Kylo... and quickly created a shallow and uneven dynamic. Rey cares far too much about Kylo considering what he did to her in TFA, while Kylo’s story never supplies an adequate reasoning for Rey’s increased interest, which is why their interactions are more parasitic than anything else - Kylo, a less rounded character than even Rey, absorbs and sucks away her attention and focus in the story and leaves her and the overall story weaker in his wake.

    TROS then effectively continues this pattern, though clearly Abrams is aware fo the issues a tad bit more than Johnson... but also maybe helpless to stop them (see: LFL having him bring Palpatine back because Ben’s redemption was a greater priority to them than the central conflict of the ST, and likely pushing for Reylo.) Finn still gets a tertiary storyline that’s underdeveloped and undercooked, Rey still ends up too focused on Kylo/Ben, and Kylo/Ben remains more a collection of trivia facts than a person... but now we have Abrams submitting the Dyad as an excuse for Rey caring about Kylo (since it wouldn’t make sense without some) and briefly revealing “Force Schizophrenia” as the cause for Kylo’s darkness.

    So basically, Finn ends up with two movies with forgettable and ancillary plotlines, while Kylo’s story slowly took center stage among the male actors, and arguabky at Rey’s expense as well as Finn’s... and yet, Finn’s one story in TFA was BETTER in all ways, and still outweighs Kylo’s in quality. And I think that’s one (of several) reasons why TFA was more successful, even if people aren’t impressed by Finn’s story, or find him too cheery and positive - Kylo/Ben is a weak male lead regardless, its just that his real lack of depth and dynamism is thrown into sharp relieve by Finn.
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  2. #2
    God Save The Queen! Mia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    So basically, Finn ends up with two movies with forgettable and ancillary plotlines, while Kylo’s story slowly took center stage among the male actors, and arguabky at Rey’s expense as well as Finn’s... and yet, Finn’s one story in TFA was BETTER in all ways, and still outweighs Kylo’s in quality. And I think that’s one (of several) reasons why TFA was more successful, even if people aren’t impressed by Finn’s story, or find him too cheery and positive - Kylo/Ben is a weak male lead regardless, its just that his real lack of depth and dynamism is thrown into sharp relieve by Finn.


    Finn was never supposed to be the male lead in the ST. It was always Kylo. I know a lot of people have a problem with this. But it's true. I am not a big fan of Kylo and I felt that he should have been more fleshed out in TFA than the angry man-child start he got. But he is the male lead nevertheless for the film.

    Finn was nothing in TFA than a diversity check list and the white girls side kick, he spent most of that film running after Rey like a needy duckling. He was is own man in TLJ and TROS, and had more leadership skills, and ended up making decisions and being the sober and thoughtful member of the group. I also liked it that he became a man of action without resorting to emotion.
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  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Remember seeing a funny observation that Finn (and Poe) got more screen time in TROS then Kylo did. Make of that what you will.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mia View Post
    Finn was never supposed to be the male lead in the ST. It was always Kylo. I know a lot of people have a problem with this. But it's true. I am not a big fan of Kylo and I felt that he should have been more fleshed out in TFA than the angry man-child start he got. But he is the male lead nevertheless for the film.

    Finn was nothing in TFA than a diversity check list and the white girls side kick, he spent most of that film running after Rey like a needy duckling. He was is own man in TLJ and TROS, and had more leadership skills, and ended up making decisions and being the sober and thoughtful member of the group. I also liked it that he became a man of action without resorting to emotion.
    I have to dispute the idea that he was “never” meant to be the male lead, and the biggest piece of evidence is TFA, it’s production history, and the way that Kylo only ever emerged as a male lead by the time TROS rolled around... where there’s still a lot of awkward inadequacy about Kylo as a male lead.

    Pablo Hidalgo himself stated that Rey and Finn in TFA were the end result of the original lead characters Kira and Sam... and people who’ve analyzed the BTS story have realized that Finn and Kylo have an awkward mutual genesis. The original male lead, who I’ll call Sam for the sake of consistency, was Rey’s bosom companion in the early drafts... and a Solo kid, since at that time the Jedi Killer character didn’t have that history yet, and Sam was to fall to the dark side on-screen in the earliest drafts. Then at some point during TFA’s production, Sam’s Solo heritage split off to join the Jedi Killer - who at this point became Kylo Ren, but remained strictly the antagonist, while the character of Sam as Rey’s companion and male lead became Finn, whisk stormtrooper background was brainstormed by Lawrence Kasdan.

    Then, of course TFA comes out. Finn is clearly the male lead of TFA in all areas: screentime, significance to the main plot, most important relationship the female lead protagonist has, all of it. Like, people can try to argue against it, but there’s literally no evidence in TFA strong enough to overcome Finn’s advantages there for Kylo, who’s story arc takes far longer to get going, clearly functions as an antagonist to help both Rey and Finn’s stories, and who’s personal story doesn’t matter as much as Finn’s, while his role in he external struggle is still to provide obstacles the heroes overcome. Finn’s personal story arc is in fact the main plot for the entire first half of the film, before Rey finally starts to emerge as the Force hero. Finn also, incidentally, is responsible either directly or indirectly for all the heroic victories in TFA. You can’t take Finn out of TFA without massively changing the entire film. Kylo’s absence would also change the film... but not as drastically, because a lot of his antagonistic functions could easily be served by First Order members.

    There’s also just a general observation to be made that Finn fans in general massively prefer TFA and hold it as the high-water mark for the character, even if they think that it’s still not as strong as story as it needed to be. It also is the least problematic in regards to his race and relationship to Rey, with TLJ failing to see any dramatic potential in his character to match his TFA scenes, as he suffers from apathy on Rian Johnson’s part there and ends up being sidelined in a meaningless bit of busy work that honestly no one really likes. TROS also clearly treats him as an also-ran and gives him only a convoluted toe to the main plot... though admittedly, that happens to a lot of characters, and the same convolutions end up infecting Rey’s story a bit so that “Ben” can have some meaning.

    Basically...

    - Finn wouldn’t really exist of Kylo were always meant to be the Male Lead, which is part of the reason Kylo’s so horribly inadequate at it in terms of function and why Finn kicks his ass in character development in just one film vs Kylo’s 3...

    -... And it’s better to be the Robin to someone else’s Batman than the token supporting character who the creators clearly don’t care about, especially if the “Robin” gets to be a protagonist in the story while the token supporting character is entirely superfluous to the actual story.

    Now, before I dig into why Kylo wound up usurping Finn’s place, I will follow this point as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Remember seeing a funny observation that Finn (and Poe) got more screen time in TROS then Kylo did. Make of that what you will.
    Finn and Poe *do* have more screentime than Kylo in TROS; in fact, Kylo never reaches higher than fourth in screen-time in any of the films, usually ceding first place to Rey, second to Finn/Luke, and then third to Han/Finn/Poe.

    ...But Adam Driver is the name that Disney and LFL listed as their choice for Best Actor in their “For Your Considerations,” and Ben Solo is notably the person joining Rey in her (horribly convoluted and clearly screwed up to try and squeeze him in there and get a kiss) confrontation with Palpatine, even though Finn has the Force and *still* even with the Force Dyad explanation being cooked up, the only character to have a believable tie to Rey that actually helps her character.

    Now, why did Kylo grow in LFL’s esteem and priorities, and why did Finn end up being demoted, even as Kylo/Ben remains depressingly underdeveloped, and has a redemption story that doesn’t really work with his previous two film arcs?

    Because Kylo almost certainly wasn’t meant to be the only Skywalker grandkid, and once he was, LFL immediately started practicing a double standard in his favor... but by that point, he was kind of screwed to play that role and carry that weight.

    I’m like 95% positive that Rey was conceived as a Solo or Skywalker at the beginning of TFA’s production, and remained as such until Abrams got the mystery box itch... but was still written as a Skywalker or Solo, and that was also reflected in the utility and characterization for Finn and Kylo. Finn fits the role of the Skywalker hero’s closest companion (like Obi-Wan or Han) to explain his importance and the importance elf his relationship with Rey. Kylo never really tries to be anything more than a brat and loathsome villain, because initially he was meant for an OT!Darth Vader role - not a protagonistic character, but one tied to the main hero through other means. Finn doesn't exist if Kylo is meant to be the only Skywalker, and Kylo would not have started the story as a villain, or have been nearly so resolutely foul as one, if he were meant to be the only Skywalker.

    But then TLJ enters and muddies the waters, in part because Rian Johnson is more interested in Luke Skywalker than these new heroes, but does have a soft spot for Kylo... even as he justifies ditching Rey Solo/Skywalker as an option in Abrams’s mystery box out of frustration with The predictability of the Skywalkers as heroes to the tale. Kylo still isn’t the male lead of TLJ - that’s clearly Luke - but Kylo is also enjoying Rian Johnson being invested in him... often at the expense of Rey and Finn. Kylo may not be the hero yet, and Johnson intends for him to end the film as a dedicate main villain...

    ...But structurally speaking, Johnson had hollowed out what little character Rey had to make his Kylo story work, and he displayed an apathy towards Finn that left Finn spinning his wheels while the film seemed to just casually state that of course Rey would be attracted to and highly engaged with a Kylo who tortured her and killed/maimed her friends. I don’t think Johnson really meant for Kylo to be the future male lead as much as I think he didn’t know what to do with Finn and cared more about Luke than anyone else, and I certainly don’t think Johnson intended for him to end up standing side by side with Rey against a greater villain *again*... but he was so soft on Kylo that he endorsed the double standard that TROS has when it promotes Kylo/Ben to lead.

    ...But fundamentally, Kylo/Ben simply doesn’t work well as a lead. He’s still largely unformed in that pattern, only dubiously sympathetic to some audience members, and is by and large only coasting on his family ties for his importance... which is likely part of the reason why Rey became a Palpatine - Abrams had to bring Palpatine back to fulfill LFL’s request that Kylo be given a greater villain to oppose on his redemption path, and realized that Rey Random would be overshadowed in that story by the last Skywalker.

    Basically, Kylo and the structural problem caused by making him the only Skywalker grandkid, screwed up the ST.

    TFA remains the best film in terms of character usage and genuine substance for those new characters because the top three - Rey, Finn, and Kylo - were all being used as intended and thus helping each other. Once that was removed, Finn became superfluous, Rey became a schizophrenic and boneless protagonist, and Kylo/Ben became the weak pillar the Skywalker die pathetically on.
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member jetengine's Avatar
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    Effectively instead of trying to play switcharoo in the first film they should of just stuck with Finn as the main character

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetengine View Post
    Effectively instead of trying to play switcharoo in the first film they should of just stuck with Finn as the main character
    The whole story works better with Finn as the main character. Finn actually changed, Rey didn't. Sorry, getting vehicle and Force power-ups doesn't count as character development.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    The whole story works better with Finn as the main character. Finn actually changed, Rey didn't. Sorry, getting vehicle and Force power-ups doesn't count as character development.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    The whole story works better with Finn as the main character. Finn actually changed, Rey didn't. Sorry, getting vehicle and Force power-ups doesn't count as character development.
    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    So sure, are you?
    I’d say Rey changes... she just doesn’t grow or develop in any believable way.

    Rey’s big problem is she suffers from a schizophrenic story that basically changes from film to film: TFA is an introductory story that desperately needs its sequel to actually carry it forward and is likely meant for Rey Skywalker/Solo, TLJ tries to be a *new* introductory story by pontificating about how Rey could theoretically be a new character type for people who hate the Skywalker family story without actually progressing her anywhere, and TROS desperately trying to tell a story like what TLJ should have told but trying to honor LFL’s wish for Ben Solo to be considered her soul mate for no good reason.

    Kylo’s problem is an also schizophrenic story, but in a different way, and the fact that his story wound up only really treating his parentage as what mattered. TFA set him up to be a compelling but loathsome villain for Rey *and Finn*, then TLJ operated under the misconception he was still sympathetic enough for Rey to fall for him while trying to promote him to overall villain, which really only weirdly made LFL convinced that Rey should still fall for him even as they reacted to him being the only Skywalker by ditching the entire direction for his story.

    Finn got wasted for two films... but at least he has one film with a definite plot arc and some actual depth.
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    Adam Driver is a better actor. John Boyega is good, but doesn't have as much experience. And that has nothing to do with skin colour.

    Despite the hatred so many people have for TLJ it gave Finn a good story arc, from a man who wanted to run into a man who'd found his cause. TROS should have seen him recruiting former stormtroopers to join the Resistance. But they gave that role to Jannah.
    Finn spent most of TROS not as Rey's sidekick, but as Poe's. If anyone overshadowed Finn in TROS, it was Poe. Poe was a secondary character who was elevated to a major role because Oscar Isaac didn't want him killed off in TFA. Adam/Kylo had much less screen time in TROS, his last scenes didn't even have any dialogue. Finn had to share his screen time with Poe, not Kylo.
    He was wasted as a character, but it was down to Poe. Not Kylo.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I’d say Rey changes... she just doesn’t grow or develop in any believable way.

    Rey’s big problem is she suffers from a schizophrenic story that basically changes from film to film: TFA is an introductory story that desperately needs its sequel to actually carry it forward and is likely meant for Rey Skywalker/Solo, TLJ tries to be a *new* introductory story by pontificating about how Rey could theoretically be a new character type for people who hate the Skywalker family story without actually progressing her anywhere, and TROS desperately trying to tell a story like what TLJ should have told but trying to honor LFL’s wish for Ben Solo to be considered her soul mate for no good reason.
    Fair enough, although I do have to say I didn't find the character to be as inconsistent as you seem to.

    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Kylo’s problem is an also schizophrenic story, but in a different way, and the fact that his story wound up only really treating his parentage as what mattered. TFA set him up to be a compelling but loathsome villain for Rey *and Finn*, then TLJ operated under the misconception he was still sympathetic enough for Rey to fall for him while trying to promote him to overall villain, which really only weirdly made LFL convinced that Rey should still fall for him even as they reacted to him being the only Skywalker by ditching the entire direction for his story.
    I agree that Kylo's story was botched, although I think TORS made the mistake of redeeming him after two whole movies set him up as being forever evil (IMHO). I also think that any and all nods to Reylo in the films was a serious mistake, too, for about the same reasons (one movie tried to play the card after two movies that hammered home that it wasn't a thing and would never happen).

    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Finn got wasted for two films... but at least he has one film with a definite plot arc and some actual depth.
    Maybe? On the other hand, I think TROS showed him capitalizing on what he'd learned over the previous two, if that makes any sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Fair enough, although I do have to say I didn't find the character to be as inconsistent as you seem to.



    I agree that Kylo's story was botched, although I think TORS made the mistake of redeeming him after two whole movies set him up as being forever evil (IMHO). I also think that any and all nods to Reylo in the films was a serious mistake, too, for about the same reasons (one movie tried to play the card after two movies that hammered home that it wasn't a thing and would never happen).



    Maybe? On the other hand, I think TROS showed him capitalizing on what he'd learned over the previous two, if that makes any sense.
    A lot of my disappointment and criticism of the film is based off how much I loved TFA for character things, and just how jarring and counterintuitive I find TLJ for pretty much all the new characters; I’m less concerned with Luke’s characterization - I dislike it in TLJ, but it’s not as important to me as Rey, Finn and Kylo’s story... and in that order. And I just can’t really accept the writing for Rey around Kylo in TLJ as good - to me, it’s a massively derailing move that cascades into later inconsistency, and simply wouldn’t be happening if Johnson were less enamored with Kylo, or more clear headed about Kylo, or just anything less about Kylo and more about Rey, where I just don’t think he really worked hard at getting in her head at all.

    And that “cascading effect” is only made worse when I look at BTS details that make it look like a lot of the ST’s problems revolve around two factors - LFL allowing Rey to end up not being a Skywalker or Solo when that was almost certainly her first characterization, and the LFL inevitably succumbing TFA realignment of the cast in their priorities based around Kylo being the only Skywalker.

    The Reylo element of TROS and the jarring and seemingly disconnected nature of Ben Solo’s redemption are basically exactly what will happen when someone decides they have to be “conventional” in their treatment of the Skywalker story after the extremely unconventional story of TLJ. It didn’t really matter that Abrams had poisoned ”Reylo” as a relationship in TFA, or that Johnson has intended to end the possibility in TLJ (though I’d blame him thinking it was possible at that point for its rise later), or that TLJ ended with him becoming a bigger bad guy, or that TFA had arguably pretty definitively driven the character away from a good redemption story and actually defined him against that possibility...

    Because once you say “Kylo/Ben is the last Skywalker,” LFL Started realigning people into the spots to fit that.

    Rey wound up with a weird Frankenstein story arc to try and preserve her place as the lead while she was still kind of hammered into the “Non-Skywalker” supporting role around Kylo - their scenes are uneven from trying to milk Kylo/Ben for the expected family drama at the heart of Star Wars even when Rey is around and that hurts her story, but Kylo’s story is still limited so that he still has to act as a supporting character to Rey. As a result, neither gets full formed, and both honestly keep from reaching their potential.

    Finn got caught in the crossfire, because to be honest, it’s better to be a well-written sidekick accompanying the main hero with mutually beneficial story arcs than “his own man” : it can be argued that he’s capitalizing on the lessons from the previous movies... but he’s still clearly locked into a supporting role in a not very ambitious story, and would clearly benefit more if, say, as a Force sensitive person, he was allowed to be in the Palpatine confrontation as well, and the story would probably benefit there as well, since he would offer more storytelling opportunities with Ben and Rey... and almost certainly would help Rey’s story get better if they weren’t trying to lock her away from him beyond this 11th hour “No One knows me!” bull that seems to exist mainly to allow Ben to be her companion when that makes no sense and inject some artificial drama.

    Finn didn’t so much lose his spot to Poe as much as he got demoted to Poe’s level, because Kylo got promoted away from villainous antagonist who *happens* to be a Skywalker, to *the* Skywalker and dual protagonist of TROS.

    And if I may....

    Quote Originally Posted by motherofpearl1 View Post
    Adam Driver is a better actor. John Boyega is good, but doesn't have as much experience. And that has nothing to do with skin colour.

    Despite the hatred so many people have for TLJ it gave Finn a good story arc, from a man who wanted to run into a man who'd found his cause. TROS should have seen him recruiting former stormtroopers to join the Resistance. But they gave that role to Jannah.
    Finn spent most of TROS not as Rey's sidekick, but as Poe's. If anyone overshadowed Finn in TROS, it was Poe. Poe was a secondary character who was elevated to a major role because Oscar Isaac didn't want him killed off in TFA. Adam/Kylo had much less screen time in TROS, his last scenes didn't even have any dialogue. Finn had to share his screen time with Poe, not Kylo.
    He was wasted as a character, but it was down to Poe. Not Kylo.
    Driver may be a better actor, and he’s clearly more experienced...

    ...But let’s not pretend that the role of Kylo was nearly as strenuous or complex as Driver’s skills could actually be used for. 95% of his screen-time is easily and accurately described as “be a sourpuss and narcissist who wants to be a grand evil but is stuck at self-centered petulance.” The other 5% is split between “show hesitations about killing a parent before killing/trying to kill parent” and “pretend to be a son of Han Solo as much as possible without saying a line of dialogue.”

    Boyega got a hell of a lot more range and power out of Finn’s role in TFA.

    Finn already had a cause and had already stopped running in TFA - he ran back to Han before knowing Rey was in trouble when the Hosnian System blew up, and prioritized the big picture on SKB before Rey multiple times. Make no mistake, he was braving the belly of the beast for Rey... but he’d already thrown his lot in with the Resistance for the sake of the big picture. Rey was just the incentive he needed to volunteer for what he probably thought was a suicide mission.

    The *only* thing TLJ did was try its damndest to try and break up the heart of the trilogy that Abrams had created - it shoved Finn into an ancillary plot that, even if you accept Johnson’s premise that Finn hadn’t evolved enough yet, didn’t actually make him grow any further than what a generous view of TFA would already include, through in a tepid and lackluster romance with Rose that seems to have existed just to try and kill the potential of Finn as a love interest for Rey, and wasted the rest of his time.

    And that was reportedly after Johnson was told to include more Finn thanks to his reception in TFA... and before Johnson ditched his originally far more moving and far less (maybe racist?) goofy reintroduction for Finn as Paige Tico’s co-gunner because it would have required a more serious and dramatic scene between Finn and Rose eventually and he “didn’t want to write it.”

    There’s a reason most big Finn fans despise TLJ *and* TROS, just like there’s a reason why John Boyega was clearly more enthusiastic about TFA than he wound up being about TLJ and TROS...

    ...And just like there’s a reason why the Sequel Trilogy’s best legs at the box office, overall reception by critics and fans, outreach and success with non-white and female demographics, and potential overall were all far more located in the film that had Finn as Rey’s male lead partner and clear male lead.

    That wasn’t just Star Wars being a pop-culture event. That was some genuinely quality character storytelling, and Finn as the male lead at center stage with Rey was a hell of a lot more exciting and productive for the ST than Sad!Luke and Darth White Dude Privilige.
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  12. #12
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    Finn's your favourite character. That's fine.

    But I honestly don't think JB was 'hard done by'. And even if he was, I have very little sympathy for the actor since his unpleasant comments on social media.
    If anyone was hard done by, it's Driver, Gleeson and poor Kelly Tran. Her treatment by Terrio and Abrams is nothing short of a disgrace.

  13. #13
    God Save The Queen! Mia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I have to dispute the idea that he was “never” meant to be the male lead, and the biggest piece of evidence is TFA, it’s production history, and the way that Kylo only ever emerged as a male lead by the time TROS rolled around... where there’s still a lot of awkward inadequacy about Kylo as a male lead.

    Pablo Hidalgo himself stated that Rey and Finn in TFA were the end result of the original lead characters Kira and Sam... and people who’ve analyzed the BTS story have realized that Finn and Kylo have an awkward mutual genesis. The original male lead, who I’ll call Sam for the sake of consistency, was Rey’s bosom companion in the early drafts... and a Solo kid, since at that time the Jedi Killer character didn’t have that history yet, and Sam was to fall to the dark side on-screen in the earliest drafts. Then at some point during TFA’s production, Sam’s Solo heritage split off to join the Jedi Killer - who at this point became Kylo Ren, but remained strictly the antagonist, while the character of Sam as Rey’s companion and male lead became Finn, whisk stormtrooper background was brainstormed by Lawrence Kasdan.
    The definition of a male lead is the leading actor star, starring role, or simply lead who plays the role of the protagonist of a film, television show or play.

    As you yourself mentioned above. Finn was never more than a ‘bosom’ buddy and companion to Rey. Someone for the main character to emote off of. To borrow from Shakespeare he’s Benvolio to Rey’s Romeo. You could take out Finn and replace him with another character including a woman, and do the same thing. And it would not change the nature of the part: The best friend. That’s it. You could not do the same thing for Kylo.

    Essentially Finn was nothing more than the Black best friend. His running around after Rey in the film was embarrassing to watch. Like he can’t stand on his own two feet and wants to tuck tail and run at the first opportunity. It was in TLJ and TROS where he got more of a leadership role and became integral to the story.
    If you liked Finn in TFA that's your preference, but I frankly found him in the role to be embarrassing. That of the interchangeable Black side kick.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    The whole story works better with Finn as the main character. Finn actually changed, Rey didn't. Sorry, getting vehicle and Force power-ups doesn't count as character development.
    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I’d say Rey changes... she just doesn’t grow or develop in any believable way.

    Rey’s big problem is she suffers from a schizophrenic story that basically changes from film to film: TFA is an introductory story that desperately needs its sequel to actually carry it forward and is likely meant
    .
    Rey didn’t change? Did we watch the same film? Because it just baffles me how anyone could miss her change and growth.

    Rey starts off as a tough and resilient yet still naïve girl and changes into to a powerful, pragmatic and confident young woman.
    She starts off in TFA as desperately wanting to know who her family is so she can define herself through them so she can feel significant.
    She then becomes wiser in the realization and acceptance that heroes don’t always behave as heroes or do the right thing. She discovers that she doesn’t need to define herself through others and can value and accept herself for what she has achieved and who she has become. She can choose her own family and does not have to be defined by lineage.

    No one else can tell you who you are, not a friend, not a mentor, not even your parents. She eventually takes charge of her own life and that same self reliance that allowed her to survive on Jakku is how she helped save what is left of the Resistance. By taking the lessons she has learned to not only take down a tyrant but also to reign in her darker impulses.

    Much if most of Rey's changes are believable because they are represent a maturing and change of the mind. Which is the primary way people grow and change.
    https://www.fandom.com/articles/star...e-of-skywalker
    Last edited by Mia; 02-26-2020 at 10:50 AM.
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  14. #14
    Astonishing Member jetengine's Avatar
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    Weird but legitimate question. If Driver was ugly or had played Ren as ugly (shaved his head, tons of prosthetics etc) do you think Reylo would have been pushed as hard ? Cause Driver seems to make alot of girls swoon and even after TFA (when their only interactions were her getting tortured by him and then them fighting) there were hundreds of shippers. So there would have been some fan pressure for Reylo to be a thing. Meanwhile if Ren had looked ugly would they have not signed on for that?

    That way it leaves space open for Finn to actually do shit since Kylo can be a villain and not a deutagonist
    Last edited by jetengine; 02-26-2020 at 03:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motherofpearl1 View Post
    Finn's your favourite character. That's fine.

    But I honestly don't think JB was 'hard done by'. And even if he was, I have very little sympathy for the actor since his unpleasant comments on social media.
    If anyone was hard done by, it's Driver, Gleeson and poor Kelly Tran. Her treatment by Terrio and Abrams is nothing short of a disgrace.
    John Boyega was attacked by the unfortunate (though small and in no way representative of the overall shipping community) racist section of the Reylo fandom after one off-color joke, and he gave the racists the treatment and belittling they deserved and deconstructed the abusive relationship that they hold above all else in the fandom.

    Boyega was hired to be the male lead of the Sequel Trilogy. I’d be willing to bet that his contract probably included some kind of emphasis that prevented Johnson and LFL from filling removing his screentime, since LFL’s apathy towards him is unlikely to have still allowed him to have such a screentime lead of Kylo/Ben in TROS.

    But in spite of doing his job well, he was shuffled to the side, had his character lectured, and was put into scene that suspiciously belittle and make fun of his character while LFL themselves seemed to deliberately undermine the drama of his character in TFA, forsaking stuff like a Greg Rucka’s Before The Awakening story and it’s serious edge for him as a stormtrooper in training, and going for more janitor jokes. Frankly, it feels like there’s some benign racism probably at work against the character; please note I’m saying this as a white guy, but if his story isn’t suffering from all the ill-effects of benign racism that I’ve been told identify it, it certainly looks that way.

    And regardless, it definitely seems like all those racists who attacked him when he was announced and featured in TFA got what they wanted; TROS showed LFL was more comfortable with having Rey kiss an ex-Space Neo-Nazi and mass murderer who’s d tortured her than in having her confide her feelings in a black man.

    Driver got to be front and center of all the publicity for all three films and had his character get magically redeemed at the cost of Carrie Fisher’s last on-screen material, and enjoyed the privilege of sharing the screen with the expensive Harrison Ford to try and undo his character’s worst crime, and then his character got kissed by the victim of Kylo’s most heinous and selfish acts with little to no justification for it. Was Ben underdeveloped? Oh yeah, but that’s because he wasn’t built to be the male lead LFL wanted him to end up being, and Abrams was likely worried about a fully realized Ben stealing Rey’s spotlight since she wasn’t a Skywalker and the script was already making her pull a Sleeping a Beauty at an awkward time so Ben could get a kiss from her. What Driver had to deal with on an unpleasant level was harassment of his real life family by the kind of nutjobs who I wont even associate with Reylo fans, since “Daivers” are just morons who make Reyloers look like saints even to Kylo haters.

    Gleason got screwed over by Johnson first. Abrams just perforated his character to get replaced by Pryde because a comedic idiot, like the one Johnson wrote in TLJ, couldn’t serve as the competent villain that Abrams had built in TFA.

    Tran got screwed. There I have no argument. Even if someone didn’t find her character good in TLJ (like myself), the answer was not to banish her to a tertiary role. It would have been to rehabilitate her and integrate her with the heroic crew; Rey could have used a wrench wench friend to break the Bechdel Test with. I don’t think Johnson did Tran anymore favors than casting her in TLJ, and I think he gave her a limited and ultimately bad script to work with... but Abrams and Terio botched handling her in every way that could be worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by jetengine View Post
    Weird but legitimate question. If Driver was ugly or had played Ren as ugly (shaved his head, tons of prosthetics etc) do you think Reylo would have been pushed as hard ? Cause Driver seems to make alot of girls swoon and even after TFA (when their only interactions were her getting tortured by him and then them fighting) there were hundreds of shippers. So there would have been some fan pressure for Reylo to be a thing. Meanwhile if Ren had looked ugly would they have not signed on for that?

    That way it leaves space open for Finn to actually do shit since Kylo can be a villain and not a deutagonist
    Driver’s charisma and unconventional good lucks definitely played a part in the pro-Kylo slant that slowly came to ignore the character’s crimes, shallow nature, and clear placement as a bad guy with few to no redeeming qualities before TROS tried to magically wave that away.

    Though to be fair, Kylo’s biggest advantage wound up just being the part where his character was a Solo/Skywalker, while Rey wound up being first a Random than a Palpatine.

    Johnson was on the one hand arguing that the Skywalkers shouldn’t get special treatment and shouldn’t absorb too much audience attention going forward, but he also made a movie where the Skywalkers got special treatment and Rey’s attention was absorbed by them, and created the situation that led to Kylo experiencing the most egregious “Skywalker privilege” in the Saga.

    Frankly, if his goal was to move beyond the Skywalkers, than pretending like the mass murderer, patricide and at-the-time-supposed-school-shooter was still a viable candidate for Rey’s attraction was a massively stupid move. If Rey Random was meant to say anything, than Kylo should have acted as the foil to fully deconstruct the idea of a Skywalker hero, and just stayed a turd or grown even worse.

    And if we’re posting fandom articles not officially published by LFL, here’s one tied to my point:

    https://the-swsc.com/2019/10/07/wher...s-protagonist/
    Last edited by godisawesome; 02-26-2020 at 04:40 PM.
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