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In this question in the notes, we'd like to establish for or against a canon statement that Finn is a Force-wielding individual. He can seemingly use a lightsaber effectively, but I don't believe the statement that only a Force-wielder can use a lightsaber is considered fully canon anymore. Any ideas? I don't think we have much to go on here.

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    I thought the question was about Finn the human :( – Maurycy Dec 23 '15 at 8:30
  • @Maurycy: It is.. – Lightness Races with Monica Dec 23 '15 at 13:59
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    @Lightness Pretty sure he means Finn the Human, not Finn the Human. – Tim S. Dec 23 '15 at 14:32
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    To the non-force user lightsabre sentence, didn't Han (non-force user) use Luke's lightsabre to cut open the tauntaun? – Fodder Dec 23 '15 at 20:47
  • Please see the latest update in my answer for possibly a very important clue. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 6 '16 at 7:55

15 Answers 15

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Unknown, but possibly no as per Episode VII.

  • In the film, there's no indication that Finn is a Force-wielder. He uses a lightsaber, but very ineffectively (he's defeated by a stormtooper with a staff weapon, then easily {as per novelization} by Ren.

  • In the Novelization, I checked every single time they mentioned Finn. There were precisely zero mentions of Finn accessing the Force, or being able to. This includes his two lightsaber fights from the film.

    Specifically, we also see detailed explanation of his fight against Ren and it is strongly stated that the only reason it lasted so long was because Ren underestimated him and wasn't really fighting full strength (plus, he just got shot by Chewie and was also emotionally weakened by killing his father). As soon as Ren Got Serious, he dispatched Finn with ease, despite Finn being a trained soldier.

    This is in complete contrast to Rey, where she's mentioned to use the Force (including in Lightsaber combat, unlike Finn), is told she has connection to it by Maz, and has Force visions.

  • Visual Dictionary pages about Finn don't mention anything about the Force at all.


A pure speculation based on film structure and similarities:

  • Rey is a main-protagonist Force user (like Luke) and she needs a reliable non-force-using sidekick (like Han). That'd be Finn.

  • Rey is a female hero Force user (like Leia) and she needs a non-force-using romantic interest (like Han). Given who she kissed at the end of Episode VII, that'd also be Finn.

    At least, Rey didn't kiss her brother that we know of, amirite?


As additional very flimsy speculation, the two popular fan theories claim that Finn's parents are either Lando (who wasn't Force sensitive, not to our knowledge married to anyone who was), or even weirder, Han Solo and Sana Starros, neither of whom are of course Force users. Personally, I disbelieve both of those theories, even though they are uber cool (either by reincluding Lando into the new films; OR by making Finn and Ren half-brothers).


There are possible hints that Finn is Force-sensitive, but they are extermely weak:

  • UPDATE:

    in the Visual Dictionary, we have the explanation of just what "The Force" "Awaking" means. Note the inclusion of "and Finn" with Rey into this Force-centric topic.

    Since the disappearance of Luke Skywalker and the shattering of his fledgling Jedi following, the cosmic Force has lain dormant, seemingly quieted to those able to sense its presence.

    The adventures of Rey and Finn on Jakku coincide with a turbulence in the cosmic Force, a sudden ripple indicating the awakening of newfound ability. With the Jedi and their records vanished, few—other than Kylo Ren and his mysterious master—are able to appreciate this occurrence.

  • Maz Kanata DID give him the lightsaber, for some reason. Instead of Han or Chewie (Shucks! I wanna see the Walking Carpet with a lightsaber!)

  • Finn has WAY WAY too much luck on his side, all the way through. Only Jedi tend to be so lucky.

    He meets Poe (who's instrumental in killing Starkiller base in his X-Wing). He meets Rey and BB-8. He decides to return to the Resistance instead of running off with pirates, bringing his knowledge of Starkiller to them. He runs into Captain Phasma and her magical base shield passowrds just when needed.

    Though, the experts seem to disagree on that point:

    In my experience, there's no such thing as luck - Obi-Wan Kenobi

  • There seem to be way too many Force-enabled opponents if you count Snoke, Ren, and Knights, for just Rey to fight. Of course we can always predict a full stealing parallelization of plot from original Trilogy, with Ren turning "light" and offing Snoke in a fit of valiant last second teenage emo outburst.

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    worth mentioning I suppose is that additionally we never see Finn paired with the Force theme in the film while we do w/ Rey – NKCampbell Dec 22 '15 at 22:05
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    @NathanK.Campbell - wow, I'm impressed. First viewing, I definitely ignored the musical details for most part. Worth a separate answer? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 22 '15 at 22:11
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    @vsz remember general grievous? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 23 '15 at 15:09
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    @Joe - well, they kissed. The MUST be siblings – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 23 '15 at 18:19
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    I think the point that Finn broke his conditioning - when no other Stormtrooper did - is a big clue that he might actually be force-sensitive, especially given that the movie's title is "The Force Awakens". Also that quote from Obi-Wan: "There's no such thing as luck" seems important juxtaposed with Han's comment to Finn (regarding a reliance on the Force's providence) "That's not how the force works!". Han is now dead, and they did succeed. So, perhaps Han was not the best authority on "how the force works" and Finn is very attuned to it, if not currently able to use its power like a Jedi. – Darren Ringer Dec 28 '15 at 1:12
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In addition to DVK's great analysis - we may also be able to look at John Williams' score for clues.

In listening to the official release of the score (that's a Spotify link but it's pretty common so just go get it however you can) as well as the film season "for your consideration" critics awards review site from Disney which has slightly different cues, there are no scenes that have Finn action beats paired with the Force theme. (this is especially telling consider Finn wields the lightsaber twice).

This is in contrast to Rey who's action is underscored by the Force fanfare

during her lightsaber battle with Kylo Ren

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    +1, and a reminder for readers: the scores in Star Wars films really are meaningful, and sometimes have DEEP meaning (see here and here) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 22 '15 at 22:45
  • @DVK - that is true and it is why the theme we hear for the first time on the last track of the soundtrack called: "The Jedi Steps" is very intriguing...."a good question, for another time" :) – NKCampbell Dec 22 '15 at 22:47
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    should've saved this answer for a day I haven't reached max rep ;) – NKCampbell Dec 22 '15 at 22:49
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    I feel your pain. I suspect I lost at least 10K rep last week to repcap :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 22 '15 at 22:51
  • @DVK confirmed ;-) – Rand al'Thor Dec 28 '15 at 20:42
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As another person mentioned (and was down-voted for some reason), there is a scene where Finn is helping to pack the ship outside Maz Kanata's cantina when he stops in his tracks and gasps, hearing cries of terror. He looks up, seeing the projectiles from the Starkiller base streak across the sky. A few moments later, they cut to a scene where people on one of the target planets watch a massive blast approach them from the sky. The screams are identical to what Finn was hearing.

This scene happens really quick with no explanation, so I understand why so many people missed this but I advise you all to scrutinize this scene the next time you watch the movie. The first time I saw the movie, I thought there were people immediately surrounding Finn who were screaming in panic. Second time, I paid really close attention and saw that:

  1. People at Maz's cantina gradually started to notice the projectiles in the sky only after Finn did.

  2. There weren't many people outside the cantina at that point - not nearly enough to account for the amount of people he hears crying out.

  3. It wouldn't have made sense for them to be crying out in such terror when the projectiles appeared to be bypassing the planet as opposed to approaching it.

  4. When we see the occupants of the cantina finally come spilling out to get a better look at the sky, none of them are screaming, just murmuring to each other in confusion.

Taking note of all of these things, I concluded that Finn was in fact sensing those cried from across the galaxy. What's more - he sensed it slightly before it happened. It was meant to parallel Obi Wan Kenobi's scene where he talked about sensing Alderaan's destruction.

Finn is definitely force sensitive to some extent.

2

First, Finn is not a “Force Wielder.” I don’t believe the Force is with Finn the way it is with Rey. He’s just an extremely lucky guy with a good head on his shoulders.

That said, in the topic of how he can fight competently with a lightsaber:

He can seemingly use a lightsaber effectively, but I don’t believe the statement that only a Force-wielder can use a lightsaber is considered fully canon anymore.

You know how that riot control Stormtrooper was fighting him with that big electrified baton? Maybe Finn was trained to use such a weapon and was able to apply that knowledge to wielding the lightsaber?

Seems like a reasonable guess to me since they did go out of their way to even have a riot control Stormtrooper in the film to begin with.

1

In regards to Lightsaber Use, one reading of the duel with Kylo Ren is that Rey wasn't "using the force" beyond inherent skill and fight training (her style is similar to the way she uses her quarterstaff - lots of forward jabbing) until the moment when they're locked in combat at the edge of the cliff and Ren reminds her of the Force by offering to train her. She goes calm and (as pointed out above) the Force theme swells, and she channels the Force into the final moments of the battle, defeating Ren.

This is all to say that if Rey could fight serviceably with her staff-based skills and no intentional connection to the Force (i.e. not "wielding" it), then Finn's Lightsaber use could plausibly be exactly as depicted without force-y augmentation.

Therefore, Finn is not a Force-Weilder based only on his basic skill with a Lightsaber.

It doesn't take a Jedi to turn on a Lightsaber (see: Han and the Tauntaun) and swing it around, it's just not advisable without heightened Force perception because you're liable to cut yourself. In A New Hope Han says he prefers a blaster, which suggests he could use a Lightsaber if he wanted to, and Finn switches to a blaster on Takodana after realizing how bad he is with a Lightsaber and as soon as the opportunity arises. He's also shown searching the Starkiller Base for blasters after rescuing Rey with no success, so a Lightsaber is his only option when facing Ren.

1

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!

There are several signs that he can use the force and while many people are citing the novelization(which I have not read) and the light saber to both support and discredit it(I honestly believe that he would have to have at least a basic understanding of the force to even get close to and even landing a blow on Kylo and plus all of the promotional stuff that pushed him with the light saber), I want to point out the times Finn actually could feel the force and possibly unintentionally used it.

  1. In the very beginning he deserts the First Order after feeling the pull of a fallen comrade and successfully escapes the clutches of the First Order(if not the first deserter and the only one to escape) after he felt something awaken inside himself(humanity/force same difference in this universe)

  2. Kylo Ren sensed this awakening and even stared intently at him after the destruction of the village, obviously sensing something inside him(the light side of the force, perhaps?)

  3. Now this one has already been talked about but I'm gonna say it anyway. Finn could feel the destruction of the Republic planets and could hear their screams, not dissimilar to that of Obi Wan in the original.

In conclusion, I believe Finns role in this new trilogy will be that of Leia in the original. He will act as the less powerful force partner to the main character(as Leia did for Luke in the original trilogy.(also note Leia could feel Hans death through the force)) But I believe that Finn will train alongside Rey and be an instrumental part of helping Rey and Luke take down Snoke(or Pelagius but that's a theory for another day)

1

Arguments against Finn being force sensitive:

  1. No "obvious" use of the force
  2. lost battle to both stormtrooper and Kylo Ren
  3. Rey is clearly force sensitive, thus there is no need for another young jedi
  4. He already occupies the role of this trilogy's Han
  5. One doesn't need to be force sensitive to use lightsaber
  6. Cooler if a "regular" guy is the hero

Arguments for:

  1. Has resisted stormtrooper brainwashing
  2. Seemed to successfully use every weapon he touched, blaster, TIE ship guns, Falcon guns, and yes lightsaber
  3. Snoke talks about an awakening long before Rey has any "awakening"
  4. Maz gives Finn the lightsaber when she could have easily given it to Han, who she actually knows better
  5. Finn hears people screaming before any of the blasts land and with nobody around, something only force sensitive have done
  6. He survives a lightsaber battle with a dark force user, albeit one that is critically injured.

Side notes:

  1. Yes Han did turn on Luke's lightsaber in ESB, but cutting open dead belly is not the same as doing actual battle. A non-force sensitive person shouldn't have the reflexes to counter any attacks let alone land a strike.
  2. Grievous uses lightsabers, but tells Obi Wan that Dooku trained him in ROTS
  3. Marketing heavily pushed Finn as a jedi, would be weird to make him just a soldier in the resistance. Stormtrooper to...soldier. Not really a character arc
  4. This trilogy will likely try to re-establish the jedi order, making it more likely that there needs to more than one force user this generation. Luke and Rey v Snoke, Ren, Knights of Ren, and Whoever Benecio Del Toro plays?
  5. Finn is not Han. Han is a fully formed character when we meet him, and his defining characteristic is his swag. Finn has little swag. He is still just figuring out he is a good guy. Poe is more like Han. Plus Finn is not a pilot. IF he doesn't train as a jedi at some point, what will he bring to the fight?
  6. SW is not about regular people, its about very special people doing crazy things with an invisible force and fighting with laser swords. Kids aren't going to pretend to fight with a blaster, they want to play with lightsaber.
1

I have reason to believe the force is with finn because he shouldn't have been able to last 1 second against kylo Ren. Also when he is fighting the stormtrooper with the electric baton there is no way he is able to know how it is used because he was stationed at sanitation while being a stormtrooper himself. I also think he heard the screams from across the galaxy and sensed It before anyone at Maz's cantina.

1

I'd like to add one point that no one else made to the list. After flying the Falcon and trying to shake the TIE fighter, Finn and Rey expressed shock at how they had known what the other was thinking. Whether this is usage of Force Telepathy and Sense on Rey's part or just a good dose of Sense for both of them is a bit uncertain, but I think it's more likely that they're both Sensing, because Force Telepathy isn't something we see very often, and certainly not by an untrained Force-sensitive.

This brings the list of pros to:

  1. Finn not killing himself with a lightsaber and actually being able to hold his own for a bit against the leader of the Knights of Ren (dark siders do better when in pain. Why else do we see Kylo beating his wound?)

  2. Finn being uncannily good with weapons in general after little to no training (this is the First Order Janitor we have here)

  3. Finn Senses the screams from the Republic.

  4. Finn Senses Rey's thoughts when flying the Falcon

  5. Supreme Leader Snoke says "there's been an awakening" when Rey hasn't awakened yet. The term "awakening" generally refers to multiple individuals coming to the realization of a fact already there.

  6. The movie is called "The Force Awakens", not "Rey Awakens".

  7. Finn is always marketed with a lightsaber. Always.

Also bear in mind that the argument Finn may have been trained with a baton similar to the one that the First Order trooper fought him with isn't likely. Even if Finn had complete mastery of this weapon, it wouldn't help him with a lightsaber. The blade of a lightsaber is weightless, and a gyroscopic motion caused by the energy loop actually causes the weapon to be continually moving by itself, resisting the wielder (Wookiepedia page "Lightsaber"). We see the First Order trooper swinging this weapon around to build up momentum, and it's obvious that the baton is quite heavy. The difference between these weapons would most likely put Finn at a disadvantage if he had actually mastered the baton.

UPDATE: As of Episode VIII, we see Finn wielding said baton with some degree of proficiency.

1

UPDATE: as of Episode VIII and Director Rhian Johnson's development of Finn's character arc and apparent lack of any force interaction (as well as shifting emphasis onto a new younger generation of force sensitives) it would seem that Lucasfilm might be moving more sharply away from giving Finn any force sensitivity or other force connection (at least in movie canon); also might be worth remembering the events of Episode VIII appear to occur within hours/days after the conclusion of Episode VII so no appreciable development of any force sensitivity should necessarily be expected.

  1. When the fellow stormtrooper in Act 1 is dying from his blaster wounds, Finn has an extreme reaction to the otherwise expressionless stormtrooper's suffering. His overwhelming reaction to the stranger shrouded behind armour dying in his hands paired with some agitated cutting of the visuals and dubbing, and then seemingly precognitive awareness of Kylo Ren's incoming transport seemed to be a pretty blindingly obvious demonstration that Finn was force sensitive

  2. Finn internally hears the screaming and crying out of the people in the Hosnian system being wiped out which compels him to seek out the source which seems to come from the sky (he doesn't first look to other people who are directing their gaze into the sky, he intuitively sense the cries come from above so he looks straight up)

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This is from the novelization. It's a scene in the beginning, when the FO destroys the village and right after Kylo Ren turns and stares at Finn before returning to his shuttle:

"In the course of returning to his ship he passed a blaster lying on the ground. It was Poe’s, the one that had come within an arm’s length of killing him. Once he was beyond its reach he touched it—but not with his hands. It rose, seemingly of its own accord, and flew free, smashing into a nearby structure and scaring the wits out of an idling stormtrooper unfortunate enough to be standing nearby."

That's the only hint I have seen that he may or may not be Force sensitive. This is not explained, and I don't recall anything like this ever happening again with Finn. I will be checking the book again because I just saw the movie and this didn't happen. Even the articles online that contrast the movie with the novelization do not talk about this. So I don't know if this means anything, or if it was just a hint of the force awakening. Does anyone have any theories on this, or read anything about it anywhere else? Or is this Kylo Ren throwing the blaster. It reads as though the trooper did it, but its not specific enough. I'm just not sure.

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    I reread the passage again, and I misunderstood it. It's Ren who reaches out with the Force to throw the blaster before returning to his shuttle. So, my mistake. And maybe I was just a bit too hopeful. – Georgeisbusting Dec 23 '15 at 19:40
  • Given that this answer is dead wrong (the quote refers to Ren using the force, not Finn) you may wish to consider just deleting it. – Valorum Apr 8 '16 at 22:24
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I believe Finn is force sensitive. Why? Because he can feel the arrival of Kylo Ren at the beginning of the movie. Remember this guy have been brainwashed since birth. I think Finn will be like Obiwan Kenobi and Rey will be like Anakin. Meaning Rey will be more powerful but Finn with dedication and training will match her in the end. I think only together they will destroy Kylo and Snoke. They will look cool fighting with light sabers together. I think it will be more fun to have 2 young jedis instead of one Luke like character. Rey heard the call of Lukes light saber, but maybe Finn will hear the call of some other jedi's weapon. An ancient weapon from the earlier days of the Jedi, how cool that will be?

0

Other than him being able to use a lightsaber my two proofs that he is a Force wielder or at least Force sensitive is in the fact that when Snoke first told Kylo there has been an awakening it wasn't at the time of Rey's awakening which happened when she touched the saber but when Finn switched sides and became appauled with the crimes of the First Order. My other proof is when those 5 planets were destroyed by the starkiller he heard the screams of those who were dead similar to Force sensitive Leia when she feels someone died. How did he hear it but no one else did? That, my friends, is the Force.

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The force is awakening inside of Finn. The key giveaway is that first scene from the village when he sensed Ren's approach.. Also when he escapes wit Poe on the TIE fighter, the ease it took him to learn how to use the weapons system effectively should give some kind of indications that the force is strong with him.

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No one has mentioned this yet, but whenever the resistance-harboring planets are destroyed, there was crying when Finn looked to the sky and heard the "boom," and the crying stopped when it showed other characters looking up. Then the crying started again when we saw up-close the city on those planets being destroyed. Reminds me of Obi-Wan hearing the cries of the destroyed planet in A New Hope.

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    Just crying at a tragedy does not make you “one with the Force.” When Ben Kenobi says, “As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” he is on a spaceship and the sense of mass death just overwhelms him. He has utterly no idea what specifically happened past it being some utterly horrible event. When Finn looks up in the sky he is looking up in the sky and realizes planets filled with people are being destroyed and he knows exactly who did it. Big difference. – JakeGould Dec 23 '15 at 18:29

protected by Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '15 at 1:39

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