Finn tells Han that he worked in "Sanitation" on Starkiller.

The flooding tunnels are over that
ridge. We'll get in that way.
What was your job when you were based
Sanitation? Then how do you know
how to disable the shields?
I don't. I'm just here to get Rey

It just occurs to me - the "I was in sanitation" line given to Han seems to be the only actual canon evidence of "Sanitation" job.

But was it the truth"?!?!

Finn is always trying to create a positive impression of himself with the Resistance, from the get-go:

  • He tells Poe that he's rescuing him because that's the "Right thing to do" (with Poe quickly seeing through the fib: "You need a pilot!")

  • He tells Rey that he's Resistance (she buys that because she's a romantic 19 year old still playing with X-Wing pilot helmet)

  • He tells Han that he's Resistance (that one lasts about a minute - Han was not a romantic 19 year old even at 19 :)

In reality, we know that he was 1% of his class, model stormtrooper cadet, personally groomed for promotion by Captain Phasma (Evidence of that: #1; Evidence #2).

However, I am pretty sure telling Han "Hey, I was 1% of my class, model stormtrooper cadet, groomed for promotion by Captain Phasma" isn't high on his list of brand management plans.

Far better to pretend to be a lowly "sanitation" worker than top-flight cadet that he really was.

So, my question is - do we have any direct canon evidence proving that the "sanitation" job was real and not a fib to make himself look better to Han/Resistance?

Knowing where trash compactor was isn't direct evidence, though it is circumstantial one.

  • Only that he gave his word on being what he says that he is after beginning to trust them
    – Thomas
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 18:23
  • I just assumed it was something he said so he didn't have to tell them he was a storm trooper. Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 0:01
  • 7
    It seems to me that his knowledge that flood-control tunnels could be used to access the interior of the base is intended to indicate that he was, indeed, assigned to sanitation, and in the course of those duties learned about this weak point which the base's designers hadn't considered. Without any indication that the First Order specifically relieves high-performing cadets of undignified duties, there's no reason to think he wouldn't have a sanitation job just because he's at the top of his class.
    – recognizer
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:08

2 Answers 2


Yes, it says that he did in the Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary.

enter image description here
As part of his training rotation, FN-2187 also logged many hours on
sanitation detail, dirty work that nonetheless needed doing.

As well as in the new canon novel Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Finn's Story

After years of training, FN-2187 had itched for some real action. Like other stormtrooper cadets, he’d rotated through several lower-level duties, including a janitorial assignment, but he hadn’t seen any real live-fire action yet. Then one day their trainer and leader, Captain Phasma, told him that they would be deployed. So FN-2187 gathered his men, double-checked their gear, and headed to their transport.

  • 7
    They really should rename "Visual Dictionary" in "plothole coverage dictionary" :) Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 23:52
  • 2
    @DVK - That special honour goes to the Junior novelisation.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 23:54
  • I know the Visual Dictionary is canon, but IMHO this doesn't jive with the Before The Awakening novel. In that, at the start he's still in training, and at the end of his story they're on their way to rendezvous with Kylo Ren, presumably to then head to Jakku. There's nothing to indicate he's ever been on Starkiller Base, let alone worked sanitation there. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 17:01
  • 1
    Considering he also literally said it in the movie, I wouldn't call that a plothole.
    – TylerH
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 2:14
  • @MichaelItzoe - There's some additional detail in the new "Finn's Story" book.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 7:48

One minor additional canon hint:

When Han, Chewie and Finn capture Phasma, and they need to decide what to do with her, Han asks at around 1:39:25:

Is there a garbage chute? A compactor?

And Finn answers with an evil smile - and with the confidence of someone who knows:

Yeah, there is.

So, he speaks from experience and knowledge?

  • An excellent point.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 6:59

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