Star Wars has always had iconic duos, from Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) in the original trilogy to Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in the prequels, brotherly bonds have been integral in the franchise. The sequel trilogy continued that trend with the introduction of Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron’s (Oscar Isaac) friendship. A First Order stormtrooper and Resistance pilot made for an odd couple, but they won hearts from their first scenes together.
The chemistry between Boyega and Isaac sold the pairing, so much so that many viewers were disappointed their relationship didn’t go further. Finn and Poe also had far less screen time together in the second installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which seemingly brought their relationship to a halt. But that didn’t stop a fantastic bond from developing between the two characters in the sequel trilogy, as some of these best moments will demonstrate.
The Great Escape
Finn and Poe first meet when Poe has been captured by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Following a crisis of conscience, Finn needs help to escape the First Order and his life as a Stormtrooper. His ticket to freedom? The captive pilot Poe Dameron. Finn helps Poe escape so that Poe can help Finn escape. It’s a mutual rescue!
This meet-cute is quick but makes its impact. Finn tries to hide his eagerness to get off the First Order ship under false pretenses, but Poe sees right through it. You can almost see the weight lifting off Finn’s shoulders when he comes clean to Poe and Poe readily agrees to fly them out on a TIE Fighter. And Poe’s assured confidence is the perfect foil to Finn’s jittery demeanor. Their brief banter also sells their introduction. And the sparks on screen? They aren’t just from blaster fire. As they say, opposites attract.
FN-2187 No More
Taking off directly from the previous scene, Finn and Poe find a TIE Fighter and immediately attract a lot of unwanted attention. Their bond is literally forged in (blaster) fire as Poe gives Finn the world’s quickest masterclass in firing TIE Fighter weapons. Finn must trust everything Poe says and the two of them make quick work of their enemies.
The TIE Fighter scene is a throwback to Star Wars: A New Hope where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo tag-teamed to escape the Death Star, but the best is yet to come. Poe, being the gentleman that he is, asks Finn his name and on hearing Finn was only ever given the designation FN-2187, dubs him Finn instead. Finn’s excitement at receiving his new name is guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone’s face. By the end of the sequence, unfortunately, Poe is presumed dead, but Finn has two souvenirs from his new friend—his name and Poe’s jacket!
Probably the most iconic moment between Finn and Poe is at the Resistance base on D’Qar. After being saved by the Resistance, Finn is desperate to find someone who can help him rescue Rey (Daisy Ridley).
To his surprise, Finn discovers that Poe is alive and the two run to each other and embrace. The two are warmly reunited, and the scene is so beloved that this moment led to many people wanting more than just friendship from Finn and Poe. While the filmmakers chose not to make the scene a romantic one, it is memorable because Finn and Poe are openly affectionate and their joy at seeing each other is palpable. Despite its brevity, this was the moment that secured Finn and Poe as the next great duo of the franchise.
Staying By Finn’s Side
It’s the little things that count, and with Poe, those little things add up. In classic Star Wars fashion, the final act of The Force Awakens features a ground assault team, a duel, and a space battle. In the end, Starkiller base is destroyed, but Finn is grievously injured.
When the Resistance returns to D’Qar, a comatose Finn is placed on a gurney, and Poe, instead of joining in the celebrations with the rest of his team, runs after it to be with Finn. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but it says a lot about Poe. He earned this win and the right to celebrate, yet he put it all on the back burner for his new buddy. He has yet to meet Rey at this point, but his focus is on his friend.
Brothers in Arms
The first time we see Finn and Poe in the third film in the trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the two of them are losing to Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) at the space chess game, Dejarik. They both agree that Chewie is cheating and lie to Chewie about turning off the game. Losing to that big Wookie is truly a bonding experience.
In a throwback to their initial meeting in The Force Awakens, Finn has now become an expert at the quad laser canons while Poe hollers instructions. The two of them instinctively know the best tactics to fight the First Order and work together well, a testament to the time that’s passed and how closely Finn and Poe have been working together in the Resistance. However, they’re still able to surprise each other, especially Poe, who whips out his lightspeed skipping skills, freaking Finn and Chewie out with several close calls.
When the Resistance learns that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is alive, the main trio leave for Pasaana to find clues to his whereabouts. Of course, they arrive at the planet just as the Aki-Aki Festival is being celebrated. As evidenced in the Millennium Falcon, Finn and Poe are tactically of the same mind. They don’t have to tell each other what they’re doing. When the First Order troopers chase the good guys on Pasaana, Finn comes up with a novel way to dispose of one of them and Poe instinctively follows through on Finn’s unspoken instructions.
But the best part of this bromance is that it’s not perfect, which is obvious in the sand burrows. As the group is falling Finn tries to share a secret with Rey, but refuses to let Poe in on it. This understandably bothers Poe since he does not want to be left out of the connection that he shares with Finn. Poe is passive-aggressive about this, but Finn seems to love teasing Poe for his reaction, which is something best friends do.
An Unlikely Saviour
Finn and Poe’s rescue of Chewie is more proof of how in sync the two are, but that’s not what cements their bromance. Poe gets shot near the end of the scene and Finn drops everything to be by his side (another throwback!). Of course, they’re captured by the First Order and sentenced to death.
There they are, Chewie, Finn, and Poe, waiting to be executed by Stormtroopers when Poe and Finn start to squabble like an old married couple as Poe prods Finn about what he wanted to share with Rey, while Finn correctly believes being at death’s door is hardly the time to bring this up. Their attempts to out-shout each other is an authentic moment of friendly banter during stressful times. However, the funniest moment is when General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) saves them revealing himself as the spy. Poe exclaims that he knew Hux was the double agent and Finn calls him out on it – peak old-mates banter.
The Emperor launches his attack on the galaxy, revealing he has a fleet of ships armed with planet-destroying weapons. With General Leia (Carrie Fisher) gone, Poe takes over as Acting General. But he is overwhelmed and unsure how to command on his own against such a massive threat. Just when he needs it, Poe gets a pep talk from Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), who reminds him that the original Rebels won because they had each other.
Poe immediately asks Finn to command with him and Finn accepts the honor with much grace and no drama. In fact, Finn hardly misses a beat as he responds to being called General. This could be a fleeting moment, but it carries a lot of character development. Poe was all bluster about being sidelined by Leia in The Last Jedi, him not thinking twice about sharing command shows that he’s matured. The pair’s mutual trust in each other throughout the series also culminates in them being co-generals.
Saviors of the Galaxy
The end of The Rise of Skywalker sees the biggest battle yet—Poe Dameron is in his X-Wing leading a hopelessly outnumbered Resistance fleet. Finn is on the First Order command ship with Rose and Janna attempting to disable it. Rey is battling the Emperor on Exegol. All hope is lost when Lando brings the cavalry!
The tense final moments of the battle don’t see Finn and Poe together, but as soon as the Resistance is winning, Poe’s first thought is to check in with Finn. And, as soon as he hears that Finn is not safe, he abandons his celebrations to try and rescue him, but Lando gets there first.
Once the victorious Resistance arrives home, we see just how far Finn and Poe’s relationship has grown. Finn can’t celebrate until he and Poe are united, which is in the form of another tight embrace. But Finn isn’t complete without Rey and that’s obvious to Poe. Poe points Rey out to Finn and the three of them embrace. Finn hugging his friends and weeping with joy is such a touching moment! Who doesn’t love a happy ending?