So after watching this again, I’m wondering if the ending would have been better had Fin died. Probably not a popular opinion, but it would have been a powerful event for his character, and I’m struggling to think of what kind of unique role he could play in the rest of the trilogy. His arc seems kind of complete already.
Not a crazy proposition. This thought has crossed my mind many times since I first saw it.
I thought that too, but it’s partly for another reason: I know this is very unpopular, but I think Finn’s role in the movie feels, unfortunately, expandable. If you look at what he does in TFA, the only two things which move the plot forward are saving Poe (another hit-and-miss character, especially since he wasn’t originally supposed to come back in the third part of the movie) and helping Han find the panel to lower Starkiller’s shields. That’s it. The writers even struggled to make him relevant in the final duel, making Ben use the force to make Rey unconscious (he doesn’t do it anymore later) so Finn could fight him alone.
They could’ve switched him with another character and it still wouldn’t have really affected the plot, which I think is unfortunate: being a former stormtrooper, he could’ve been the best character in the movie, especially if they fleshed out more his internal conflicts. As he is now in TFA, he could’ve died and it would’ve still been alright, bacause he feels expendable (to me, at least).