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JOIN THE EMPIRE - Part One FN-2187

Star Wars is typically considered to be a pretty solid example of the classic Hero’s Journey template of storytelling. Whole books have been written on the subject. There’s a clear good side and a clear bad side, you know who to be cheering on from the very beginning, and that can be comforting as a viewer.

The villain of Star Wars is, of course, the Darkside itself-- however, most of the films are fought subverting not the dark force users but the Imperial Military that uses them to terrorize a galaxy far, far away.

The Imperial Military is a clear stand in for real-world fascist regimes that we’re all familiar with. This is another method used to instantly establish where the story stands and who we should be backing from the get-go. 

The Imperial Military is almost cartoonishly evil at first blush. But perhaps we take this big baddie for granted.

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The military isn’t one entity, it’s made up of many moving parts and countless enlisted individuals. How does someone end up joining the bad guys? What’s the appeal? Over the next three articles we’re going to be taking a look at three separate paths that could lead someone to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of terror.

It goes without saying that the most likely place to look for less than willing participants would be the ranks of foot soldiers. The Imperial Army’s intentions aren’t the best and not many would be willing to die for the ever expanding power of their higher officers. That brings us to our first subject, FN-2187, later known as Finn.

Abducted as a child, Finn was forced into a First Order operation known as Project Resurrection.

Thousands of children were snatched from their homes, most of them too young to have formed any real memories of their birth parents, and molded into elite Stormtroopers.

Finn showed early promise as a cadet serving under Captain Phasma and was generally considered to be an ideal example of the success of the program. 

However, Finn’s indoctrination wasn’t airtight.

The canon is careful to point out several moments in his youth where outside influences seem to have come through. He enjoyed reading the Kade Genti comics that his friend snuck in as well as other contraband. The Imperial Army failed to fully separate him from his humanity.

By the time of his first real mission, a deployment to Jakku with Kylo Ren to track down a map that would lead to the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, Finn lacked the ruthlessness that was required of him in his position.

After witnessing the massacre at the village Tuanul, Finn became disillusioned and took the opportunity to defect entirely, kicking off the events that would transpire over the course of the latest trilogy. 

Without this act of rebellion, who knows where our heroes would have ended up.

Next time, we’ll be talking about the service of another unwilling participant, Galen Walton Erso.

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Amanda Avery          
Amanda is a blogger based in Anaheim, CA

Amanda Avery August 31, 2020 0 tags (show)