Part 2 of EW's new 'Star Wars' cover story features John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran
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We’ve already seen John Boyega’s conscience-stricken Stormtrooper try to escape from a life of wrongdoing. In The Last Jedi, Finn finds himself ready to abandon the good guys, too.
You can’t blame him. He has been critically wounded by a lightsaber attack that still burns and has never quite healed. He watched Han Solo, another reluctant hero, die horribly at the hands of his own son.
Finn did his part. Starkiller base has been destroyed. Now he wants out.
“It got really real for him,” Boyega tells EW. “And he just wants to get away and not be involved. His intention in the first place was to go to the Outer Rim. He was always brought back [in The Force Awakens,], but this is his chance to get away and perhaps find Rey and go off together. He’s trying to do that at first.”
But it’s not going to be that easy for him.
Along with Luke Skywalker and Rey, the Stormtrooper formerly known as FN-2187 becomes a key part of The Last Jedi’s never-meet-your-heroes theme after befriending Rose Tico, a Resistance mechanic played by Star Wars newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.
“Everyone in the space, throughout the galaxy, would have heard about the young Jedi who discovered her powers and defeated Kylo Ren and the young former Stormtrooper who helped save the day,” Boyega says. “He’s a hero to people like Rose, who fight for the Resistance because their homes have been destroyed by the First Order.”
Finn’s boast to Han Solo from the previous adventure has come true. “When Rose first meets Finn, that’s how she views him,” Tran says. “He is ‘a big deal.’”
Rose, meanwhile, is not.
A NOBODY IN THE SHADOWS
She is a gearhead, a grease monkey, a behind-the-scenes jack-of-all-trades, while her sister Paige (played by Veronica Ngo) is the dynamic one — a Resistance gunner who fights on the front lines alongside Resistance luminaries like Poe Dameron, Oscar Isaac’s X-wing ace.
“Poe Dameron is super cool. Finn’s super cool. Even though [Rose] is good at what she does, she’s not known,” Tran says. “She’s not cool. She’s this nobody, this background player, which is what makes her interesting. She’s not the best. She’s not royalty. She’s someone who is just like everyone else.”
But Finn — she’s starstruck by him.
“He appreciates the adoration for a second, but when he meets her, Finn is trying to escape the whole war. He’s trying to leave,” Boyega says. “And she comes in and basically gives him a depiction of himself that wasn’t necessarily true.”
But he likes the impression Rose has, the vision she has of him.
A good guy. A brave guy.
Seeing himself through her eyes gives the ex-Stormtrooper something to live up to.
“It’s now an opportunity for him to be the best he can be. He has to make a decision, and Rose is there to help him make that choice,” Boyega says.
It shouldn’t be a spoiler to reveal that, yes, she helps Finn stay in the fight, although the urge to get out is still burning inside him.
Also… living up to Rose’s high expectations is not a task anyone can truly fulfill.
JOURNEY TO CANTO BIGHT
Just as The Force Awakens seemed to reflect plot points from the original Star Wars, this film follows a few patterns from The Empire Strikes Back, although writer-director Rian Johnson says that was unintentional.
“I just tried to kind of ignore that aspect of it and have the story take the shape that it needed to,” the filmmaker says. “But look, Rey is off in a remote location with a Jedi master, and the Resistance is in a tough spot, and we’re intercutting those stories. By its very nature, there are some structural parallels. But these are new characters, they’re dealing with new things, and that ultimately is what defines the movie. So I think that’s going to be unique.”
Another parallel with that earlier film: Finn and Rose are part of a squad of good guys who head off on a mission to a glamorous location — not Cloud City on the gas giant planet of Bespin this time, but the casino metropolis of Canto Bight on the world of Cantonica.
“The whole city is kind of one sort of luxury resort that’s been built on this very otherwise abandoned, arid planet,” Johnson says. “It’s like Vegas with aliens. So maybe it is just like Vegas.”
Part 1 – Luke and Rey
Part 2 – Finn and Rose
Part 3 – Porgs and Caretakers
Part 4 – Snoke and the Praetorian Guard
Part 5 – Leia and Poe
Part 6 – Benicio Del Toro’s DJ