Review – A Hero Awakens In Marvel’s Age of Resistance: Finn
Welcome to Age of Resistance and who better to kick off this series than our favorite former stormtrooper Finn! In this story he’s still got that dehumanizing alpha-numerical designation FN-2187, but we all know who he really is. This is the Age of series I’ve been holding my breath for and I’m very excited it’s here. Strap in, power up the converters, and get ready for a fun story showcasing the burgeoning morality within Finn as he deals with a pesky situation on Starkiller Base. And don’t forget, he’s kind of a big deal. SPOILERS AHEAD….
Behold, a nearly completed Starkiller Base, so this indicates to me we are at least a few months ahead of the events in The Force Awakens. Finn is living a life of custodial tasks while fantasizing about bigger, more important tasks and pretending his mop is some sort of weapon in the midst of a corridor clean-up. His co-worker scolds him and then a person appears who will silence them both.
Kylo Ren, accompanied by Phasma, stops to take a look at Finn. There’s no interaction or purpose but I have to wonder if the dark side shook Kylo a little, letting him know this janitor could potentially cause him a bit of trouble in the future. It’s brief but underscores how terrified everyone in the First Order is of Kylo Ren. Once Kylo’s passed, Phasma scolds Finn for saluting with his mop, suggesting it demeans the formality of a blaster salute. The discipline is eschewed by Phasma and Finn receives new orders: report to a cleaning crew to help clear up a blockage in the lower levels of Starkiller Base.
Once Finn arrives, he notices the cleaning crew is armed with blasters and flame throwers. The commanding officer, Captain Bray, informs Finn the infestation is quite serious, pointing to an officer who’s still traumatized from their encounter (the silhouette in the foreground of this frame). Finn, being the caring person he is, tries to comfort the trooper and find out what happened. All he gets is frantic, shellshocked responses in ominous one-word answers like ‘rage’ and ‘teeth’. Whatever the infestation is, it managed to take out two other troopers, so the commander wastes little time leading Finn and the rest of them into the darkness to deal with it.
It doesn’t take long for the stormtroopers to catch up to whatever haunts the bowels of Starkiller Base. They are greeted with a debilitating scream and attacked in the darkness. The creatures swarm them but the troopers can’t see in the dark until the blasters start firing.
Before Captain Bray can shoot his flame thrower the bat-like creatures knock it from his hand in the swarm. Finn jumps to action and takes the weapon, letting loose a fury of flame at the creatures starting to cover his commander. He knows the flame trooper suit is heat resistant and isn’t worried about hurting the commander. Bray doesn’t approve of Finn’s spontaneous and fiery solution to getting the creatures off of him, so he assigns Finn the task of cleaning up their corpses. When Finn questions him, Bray threatens him with permanent sanitation detail, so Finn backs down and follows orders.
During his clean-up, Finn discovers the creatures are not an infestation, they are a species native to the planet the First Order hollowed out in creating their nightmare killing machine. Once Finn realizes this he becomes determined to protect them, not taking any consideration to the fact the military machine he serves has a reputation for annihilating anything living to get what they need. Finn confronts Bray, suggesting they relocate the creatures instead of wiping them out. Bray is furious and orders him to sanitation duty, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds. I love the way this vibrant frame contrasts the dull gray of the First Order. The art by Ramon Rosanas and colorist Guru-eFX carries the story along nicely.
The First Order has a garbage moon and hires pilots to take six-week roundtrips across the galaxy to take out their trash. This pilot, Marialew, catches Finn trying to discreetly empty one of the cargo containers he brought onboard and she pulls a blaster on him. Marialew seems to be pretty indifferent to the First Order but she’s very protective of her ship and doesn’t want Finn smuggling anything. Finn was able to get some of the creatures from Starkiller Base aboard her craft so at least they’d have a fighting chance on the garbage moon. Marialew explains she’s encountered these creatures many times before since she started hauling garbage for the First Order. She’s encountered them so many times that she knows exactly where to put them.
They’ve made a nest on the garbage moon! Finn and Marialew introduce the new creatures to the nest. Finn worries Marialew may say something but she assures him she’ll remain silent and reminds him if they’re hauling the garbage of the First Order both of them are probably not very good at following rules.
While this isn’t the most consequential or epic story, I really enjoyed getting another good look at the moral fiber of Finn. Displacing indigenous species from their world isn’t a perfect solution, but Finn does the best he can to do the right thing while being surrounded by corruption. Similar to rescuing Poe, there was no grand plan, but Finn knew he had to act and try to do the best he could. Plus, a big indicator for me on the quality of a human is how well they treat the animals around them who are helpless or need caring for – and Finn passed that test with flying colors. Taking a course of action you know to be right which runs against the path you’ve been told your whole life you MUST be on is heroism in itself. Finn’s always been a hero to me and I very much enjoyed this story by writer Tom Taylor. Maybe it’s the first time Finn rose to heroism but we all know it’s not his last.