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Finn (FN-2187)

SWVII: The Force Awakens
by yo go re

When something good comes around, somebody always has to try to earn "Internet Cool Guy" points by being the first to hate it. In the case of Force Awakens, one such trailblazer was HuffPo's Seth Abramson, who wrote about "unforgivable" plot holes. Or maybe that should be "unforgivable" "plot holes," since the majority of ones that weren't the result of him being too dumb to pay attention to the movie were just pulled straight out of his ass.

After his first taste of combat during a brutal First Order night assault on a Jakku village, Stormtrooper FN-2187 defects from Kylo Ren's forces, becoming a fugitive.

You'd think a Harvard Law-​educated UNH Assistant Professor of English and Writing Specialist would be smart enough to know what a plot hole is, but apparently not.* Anyway, one thing in this movie about space-wizards that stretched his suspension of disbelief too far was that Trooper FN-2187 had never disobeyed an order before. Really, "professor"? The movie flat-out states that Jakku was his first battle, so what order, exactly, would he previously have had cause to refuse? As people who love to question Finn's fighting ability keep mentioning, he was assigned to the sanitation department; he wasn't being sent out on raids all over the galaxy. Nobody conscientiously objects to taking out the garbage.

One thing the movie didn't explain very well was the relationship between the Republic, the Resistance, and the First Order. The Rebels and the Empire signed a peace treaty, jointly becoming the New Republic. The entirety of the Empire's starfleet scarpered off to uncharted territory, where they could rebuild in secret, and Leia formed the Resistance to oppose that. Anyway, that explains why First Order troopers look almost identical to Stormtroopers. I mean, Clone Troopers and Stormtroopers looked the same from the neck down, but at least they had different helmets - the First Order can't even claim that! Yes, there are differences (FO chest armor is more rounded than flat and angular, the belt is asymmetrical, there's white on the gloves, the helmet only has one silver aerator instead of two, etc.), but they're negligible. White armor with a black undersuit and a mushroom-shaped helmet is white armor with a black undersuit and a mushroom-shaped helmet. The toy does duplicate all the small details very nicely, so there's no mistaking which trilogy this trooper comes from.

There was a normal First Order Stormtrooper release (allegedly available on Force Friday, but you know better than that), and for the most part, this figure is the same as that one. The only important difference is above the neck. As you may have been able to guess from all that talk about FN-2187, this figure has a removable helmet and a human face beneath it. It's the same mold seen on Finn, naturally, but this time the skin is painted, so it's not as glossy as before. You know, because he hasn't been sweating under the desert sun yet!

We can be sure this figure is from prior to his escape because of the simple paint app that sets the figure apart from the standard Trooper release: three streaks of blood trailed across his face by his friend and squadmate FN-2003. No, we've never seen Stormtroopers bleeding from being shot with blasters before, but then, we've never followed Stormtroopers before, have we? The story's never been about them, so their reactions didn't matter. The paint on the figure I found is slightly smudged, but it suits the way the stripes got there better than clean, sharply defined lines.

The articulation continues to be adequate. FN-2187 has swivel/hinge rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed torso, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows and shoulders, a hinged neck and a balljointed head. The arms are kind of weird, because the joints don't line up with the shape of the armor the way you think they would. There are dips where the elbows would fit, but the joint doesn't line up with them. That's just bad design. Also, the boxes mounted on the forearms' picatinny rails limit the ways you can pose the wrists - you can forget about getting a good two-handed pose with his gun.

Hey, guns! He comes with two of them: a blaster rifle and a smaller pistol. Both are painted black and white, and can be held in FN's hand or plugged into the slot on the thigh armor (a feature I wouldn't have known about if not for Monkey Boy reviewing Captain Phasma). The helmet is a tight fit on his head, requiring a little force to get it on or off; that just means it won't tumble off when you don't want it to!

Hasbro is doing a better job of getting these new Black Series figures into stores than the old ones, but that's like saying the Sahara is wetter than the Atacama - it doesn't really mean much when you're dying of thirst. We're not at "Leia/Han/Greedo" levels of stagnation, but it's not good, either. FN-2187 is a nice toy, but good luck finding him.

-- 04/10/16

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*Seriously, dude wrote a followup piece that seemed mainly to exist to defend his home-brew definition of "plot hole." One of his new points tries to pass off "Constable Zuvio was cut from the film but not the toyline" as a hole. Kids, if you were thinking of going to UNH, reconsider; parents, if your kids go there, you're wasting money.

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