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The Finn Story We Never Got To See In Star Wars

Back in December of 2019, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker capped off the nine-movie Skywalker saga in a rather divisive fashion. Many enjoyed its reverence for the previous eight installments of the series, while others found it rather hollow and unbefitting of a grand finale. No matter where you stand, you've likely, at one point or another, pondered some of the unused ideas for The Rise of Skywalker that wound up on the cutting room floor. Surprisingly, many of those ideas have come to light in the time since the film's release, and quite a few of them sounded pretty intriguing, to say the least. 

One of these particular story beats centered around John Boyega's First Order defector, Finn, whose journey throughout the sequel trilogy proved a bit strange. Despite being featured heavily in Star Wars: The Force Awakens' marketing, as a potential Jedi no less (which The Rise of Skywalker actually touched on ever so slightly), his role in subsequent films became smaller, and the spotlight quietly moved away from him. Recently, the actor has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with his Star Wars tenure, citing that Disney pushed his character and other characters of color into the background as the trilogy unfolded (via GQ UK). 

According to Insider, he's since reconnected with the studio and explained his side of the story, but the fact remains that he received the short end of the stick, all things considered. This becomes especially evident when looking at early plans for Finn and many of his companions in the initial draft of Episode IX, long before J.J. Abrams signed on to direct and dubbed the movie The Rise of Skywalker.

Finn would've blossomed into a true Resistance leader

At the D23 event in 2015, Lucasfilm announced that they had signed Colin Trevorrow to direct the then-unnamed Episode IX, however, this never came to pass. Two years later, the Jurassic World director left the project as a result of creative differences, opening the door for Abrams to return to the franchise after directing The Force Awakens. Apparently, Trevorrow had completed the script for his version of the movie — entitled Duel of the Fates — and it wound up online in early 2020. Here's the kicker: The film is drastically different from the one that made it to the big screen.

In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, John Boyega discussed what Finn's story would have entailed under Trevorrow's creative direction, and the differences are night and day. Boyega described this version of Finn as a "revolutionary," and as someone who would've led the Resistance to war with the First Order head-on. A piece of concept art that Collider's Steve Weintraub shared on his Instagram page back in June supports this statement, depicting a flag-waving Finn leading a pack of rebels, flanked by the likes of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), and Rose Tico (Kelly-Marie Tran). Behind them are a handful of Imperial AT-ATs, repurposed to fit the Resistance cause, rounding out what could've been an incredible moment.

Boyega voiced his support for the scene, citing the artwork directly and even mentioning a First Order Stormtrooper revolt at the same time. "That image of Finn with the blue flag, and you have the AT-ATs lined up with tribal marks, and the stormtroopers take off their helmets. That would have been sick! That would have been dope, man, hands down," he said, reminiscing over what could've been. It has become cliché to fawn over the Duel of the Fates story in light of The Rise of Skywalker's many shortcomings, but this scene of Finn finally sticking it to his old adversaries would've done so much for the character. Sadly, such a scene is lost to time, surviving only through concept art and script pages.