3

Finn says that during his first battle he decided that he wouldn't kill for them (The First Order). Some of the first few scenes of the movie show him wandering the battlefield, taking in what is actually happening. He kneels down next to a fallen comrade. Generally speaking, Finn is having a bad time on Jakku. This leads me to believe that the battle on Jakku where the film starts is actually Finn's first real battle. When he is standing in the firing squad and they have to shoot the villagers, Kylo immediately notices that Finn doesn't fire his blaster. So I don't think Finn could've hidden it if he wasn't shooting in battles.

  • Finn is portrayed as a first-timer on the battlefield. Wandering and watching, but definitely not fighting.
  • When given a direct order to fire, he is immediately noticed by Kylo.
  • Finn decided not to kill for the First Order during his first battle.

Is the battle on Jakku at the start of The Force Awakens Finn's first battle?

  • I feel like I’ve seen an interview where somebody confirms that this is his first battle (in addition to what we see on screen), but I can’t find it now. :-/ – alexwlchan Dec 23 '15 at 11:17
  • Didn't he tell Rey he refuse to kill inoncent people ? that's why he had to run away from First Order. – Archemar Dec 23 '15 at 13:18
  • @Archemar - yes. I added that to my answer from film script. As well as 3 other independent sources from all angles :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 3:23
7

Yes.

Film (see script quote below) covers that - he tells it to Rey

FINN
I'm not Resistance. I'm not a hero.
I'm a Stormtrooper.
(stops her)
Like all of them, I was taken from a
family I'll never know. And raised
to do one thing...
(emotional)
But my first battle, I made a choice.
I wasn't going to kill for them. So
I ran.

TFA novelization by Foster covers that.

Combat was not at all like the would-be rescuer had envisioned it.
A brief, final flailing by the downed trooper splattered the newcomer’s face mask with blood. Then hand and arm fell, and movement ceased.
There was no assistance to be rendered here, the second trooper realized. Straightening, he surveyed the hell in which he found himself. His weapon hung at his side—unfired. He stumbled off, away from his dead comrade and that exposed, pale, pleading hand.

As madness ebbed and surged around him, he wandered through the village, feeling himself more a participant in a historical drama than in an actual battle. The horrific and all too common red stains on the ground contradicted his denial. This wasn’t like his training at all, he told himself numbly. Unlike in simulations, reality bled.

Now, there's actually a deeper back-story for this, both generally and for Finn.

General Backstory:

The Visual Dictionary page for General Hux (p.40) explains that this was a standard thing - he was a firm believer that combat simulations were sufficient and great training for soldiers, following in footsteps of his father who developed this methodology as Commandant of Imperial Academy. I added more details to this answer about Hux

Finn's Backstory

In the prequel book "Before the Awakening", we see the exact timeline.

I put a lot of details and quote about it in this answer. Short exerpt:

  1. FN-2187 was a cadet in training
  2. Then, he was called up to deploy first time ever, with Captain Phasma. At that time he was told he was becoming a real stormtrooper, and never saw battle yet
  3. That deployment was to some Outer Rim system Pressy’s Tumble/Pressylla, and was basically urban pacification (translated: they were ordered to shoot the leaders of striking miners)
  4. Immediately upon the end of THAT event, Phasma loaded them all up on board SD, and headed to pick up Kylo Ren on the way to Jakku.

Captain Phasma watched FN-2187 on the monitor in her quarters. He’d stopped firing, stopped even moving, and was just standing amid the ever-changing field of moving figures.
She sighed. She’d had such hope for FN-2187. He had shown such remarkable promise. He had shown the capacity to be special.
She picked up the orders on her desk and reviewed them once more. They’d already made the jump to hyperspace, and she knew it would be less than an hour before they reached their rendezvous point to take on their new passenger. Kylo Ren had already transmitted the coordinates for where they would be headed next.
...
She switched off the monitor. He’d be part of the detail when they reached the landing point on Jakku, she decided. Perhaps when someone was shooting back at him, he would understand what it meant to be a real stormtrooper, what it meant to serve the First Order, body and soul.

  • 2
    Even the movie covers that - he specifically says it that it was the first time he'd been on one when he's telling someone who he is (I forget if it's Han, Ray, or someone in the Resistance). – Joe Dec 23 '15 at 15:59
  • 1
    @Joe - added.... – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 3:24
1

I think you are right. He also mentioned to Han Solo that he was a cleaner on the starkiller. Looking at his behaviour on Jakku i believe it was his first battle and that he decided not to kill for them because they were killing innocent people.

1

Is the battle on Jakku Finn's first battle?

Yes, and there is a line in the movie (I forget the exact words spoken) where he said that Jakku was his first field battle.

  • Do you have a source to back this up, I've seen the movie twice now and I don't recall this line. – Kevin Dec 24 '15 at 7:43
  • Not specifically. I have seen it only once so far, but I know I heard the line spoken, I just don't remember in which context. – Remy Lebeau Dec 24 '15 at 20:51
  • 2
    @Kevin - added the source to my answer :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 3:24

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