Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
After being caught while attempting to disable the First Order’s hyperspace tracker with the help of Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and DJ (Benicio Del Toro) — a hacker recruited from the casino city of Canto Bight — Finn (John Boyega) once again finds himself face-to-face with Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) in the final act of The Last Jedi.
But Finn is no longer the same person who deserted his First Order post hoping to vanish into the Outer Rim in The Force Awakens. In fact, he’s no longer the same person who Rose discovered trying to board an escape pod in the beginning of Last Jedi. Instead of being the reluctant hero who took up a lightsaber against Kylo Ren in the forest of D’Qar — and was nearly fatally wounded — Finn seems to have finally become a true believer in the Resistance cause.
Phasma — who apparently survived her foray into Starkiller Base’s trash compacter — sentences Finn and Rose to die for their crimes. But just when it seems all hope is lost, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) executes her unprecedented lightspeed maneuver, sending the Raddus crashing through Snoke’s flagship and giving Finn a chance to take on his former boss.
“Phasma trained Finn, so she knows him and he knows her,” Boyega told USA Today. “It’s almost like going up against your sensei, going up against the person who taught you everything you know. It’s much more brutal.”
In the end, Finn comes out on top, paving the way for his self-sacrificing attempt to fly his ship into the First Order’s blaster cannon during the battle on Crait. But it’s his last words to Phasma that truly mark a turning point for his character.
“You’ve always been scum,” the beaten Phasma says to him from behind a smashed helment, waiting for the ship to give way underneath her.
“Rebel scum,” he responds