The Story of Finn
|Title:||The Story of Finn|
|Date(s):||December 31, 2015 - January 19, 2016|
|Fandom:||Star Wars: The Force Awakens|
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The Story of Finn is a gen fic by LullabyKnell which began posting about 2 weeks after Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released. It centers not on Finn but on original stormtroopers. There is a sequel titled "The Roar of Mice".
In The Force Awakens, it was shown that stormtroopers are typically taken from their families and conditioned to obedience from a young age. "The Story of Finn" posits that Finn's escape from the First Order would inspire other stormtroopers to consider rebellion, but not in the same way as the original rebellion due to their severely curtailed psychological and social freedoms.
The story follows an adolescent stormtrooper as she joins a new barracks, where for the first time she is exposed to spoken stories. The stories become the impetus for her to take the slowly spreading rumors of Finn's escape and write them into a manifesto disguised as stormtrooper propaganda, but which actually contains messages coded in stormtrooper double-speak. Elements of the work that became common themes in other works inspired by this one include:
- Stormtrooper daily life and social structure
- The development of a coded language and rumor as outlets to express political views
- The subversion of First Order propaganda machines for Resistance use
- The reaction of low-level stormtroopers to the news of Finn's escape
- Naming freed stormtroopers as a symbolic step toward beginning a new life
- Groups of defectors, as units (the stormtrooper equivalent of families)
Similar themes can be found in unrelated works, such as the Three series by whiteraven1606 or Cautionary tale by Aviss. The character of Finn inspired many works to humanize stormtroopers or even encourage them to defect.
"The Story of Finn" created immediate strong reactions among fans. In addition to a large number of strongly favorable comments (many focused on the worldbuilding), the story inspired many creators to use the same premise, including:
- Tomorrow (there'll be more of us) by dimircharmer
- Stormtrooper defectors begin appearing at supposedly secret Resistance bases, asking for shelter and an opportunity to fight the First Order. They treat Finn as a legend and are named by him. Written from the point of view of Finn and Resistence members.
- One Was All It Took by Miz636
- Companion piece to "Tomorrow (there'll be more of us)", from the point of view of the stormtroopers themselves. Also extends beyond the ending of the original to show not only the underground information network that stormtroopers built to assist each other in escaping to the Resistance, but also how they set up a Resistance network within the First Order itself. Proceeds all the way through the final battle.
- have you heard by peradi
- Inspired by the use of rumor and coded language in earlier works, this one is expressed mostly in short scenes and explores the ways in which totalitarian regimes are weak to rumors, double-speak, and mixed messages in their propaganda. It describes Finn as "Finn, the patron saint of revolution, who tripped and fell into glory" then goes on to describe the bloody and difficult reality of a civil war.
- Sanitation by GemmaRose
- Inspired by Finn's rescue of Poe, another stormtrooper rescues a different prisoner.
Some of these works added common themes to the lexicon, including:
- Captain Phasma converting to the Resistance
- Stormtrooper cadets (aka children)
- Stormtroopers integrating into the Resistance (or failing to)
- The final battle with the First Order
- Multiple facets of revolution, both intended and unintended
- By February 3, 2 weeks after it finished posting, it had received 8,330 hits and 1004 kudos, along with 203 comments and 354 bookmarks. This is an especially strong showing for a gen work featuring OCs and reflects a high kudos to hits ratio for a multi-chaptered work that was posted as a work in progress. (Typically WIPs have a lower kudos to hits ratio than works posted all at once because many of the same users repeatedly open the work as each chapter is posted and are counted as a hit, but they can only give kudos once.)