18

At the end of the Last Jedi, Finn attacks the

Battering cannon in a suicide run.

There seemed to be some confusion as to whether the attack was a pointless gesture of resignation, or whether it would accomplish its end, which leads to

Rose knocking him into the salt flats with her own vehicle.

Would the attack have succeeded or was it pointless?

  • 1
    When I saw the film, I thought he was going to succeed. But Poe and Rose would've appeared a lot less stupid if I thought he was going to fail, so I hope that was the intention. – DaaaahWhoosh Dec 19 '17 at 18:47
  • I took it as Poe and Rose being "stupid" haha, i.e. not wanting to lose their friend, which is pretty understandable in my opinion. – Alex Wally Dec 20 '17 at 1:37
  • This now has a canon answer. – Valorum Mar 6 '18 at 20:28
  • Re-opened on the basis that @Valorum claims to have a canon answer. – Null Mar 6 '18 at 20:54
6

Based on the (in-universe) opinion of a highly qualified Resistance Flight-Engineer, his attack was doomed to failure.

His comm signature crackled off and he accelerated toward the cannon. Its barrel shone through the lasers, on the cusp of firing. The tremendous heat it generated melted the salt around it, stirring a crimson haze around its treads. With the other skimmers no longer a threat, all the walkers and tanks were targeting Finn. And Rose knew he’d never get through that last stretch alive.

The Last Jedi: Junior Novelisation

and

No, Rose thought, teeth gritted. They’d come too far together for her to watch while he threw his life away. She banked her speeder hard, following Finn’s heading. Her medallion swung wildly on the console. She grabbed it, jamming it around her neck a moment before her speeder smashed into Finn’s, just short of the massive cannon’s muzzle.

The Last Jedi: Official Novelisation

  • 1
    Good answer. I would recommend including an additional source: the full novelization, where even Poe also thinks that it would be pointless. – Adamant Jun 9 '18 at 2:41
  • 1
    "The cannon was just a couple hundred meters away, but Poe refused to let himself be tempted. His speeder would be cooked before got close enough for it to matter." – Adamant Jun 9 '18 at 2:42
17

The movie seems to be pointing to "No". Finn's craft was falling apart. The ski had fallen off, it looked like the entire machine would disintegrate at any second, and the cannon was nearly at temperature. I suspect that, even if he had made it, the cannon simply would have melted his craft just like it did the door. (image source)

I took Finn's look at the end as one of resignation. That he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. Rose's act was to remind him that there are more important things in life (even if that point was being made ham-fisted)

4

I think it's the knowledge that no help is coming that determines that Finn's attack would ultimately have been a pointless gesture (disregarding the question of whether his plan could even have worked, given his ship was falling apart and it was unclear if it'd reached the cannon).

If help was on the way, then destroying/disabling the cannon may have bought the rebels enough time for that help to arrive. Once we learn nobody is coming though, it hardly matters. Destroying the cannon would just result in a long, drawn out siege where the First Order starve the rebels out - and that's assuming they don't have spare bunker busters to deploy.

As an aside, Rose's plan to 'rescue' Finn is equally dubious. If help was on the way, she could just have cost the rebels the one chance they had to buy some time. And crashing her craft into his could (and almost did) result in two pointless rebel deaths instead of one (maybe more if others had gone to rescue them). Besides which, the entire franchise is built on the heroic sacrifice trope, right from Obi-Wan in ANH through to Luke in TLJ just moments after the movie tried to make some point about such sacrifices.

3

There is a very good possibility that it would have succeeded but, as Rose knew, it would not have achieved anything more then the death of another one of a shrinking group of resitance fighters to achieve not very much.

  • 3
    Well, it might have saved everybody else. – Chris B. Behrens Dec 20 '17 at 0:09
  • +1. Even if he had succeeded in destroying the cannon, the first order wasn't going to give up their siege. So either the remains of the rebellion would have starved in there, or the first order would have brought another bunker buster anyway / would have found another way to destroy the door. – Alex Wally Dec 20 '17 at 1:39

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