Has anyone written a book about the hero's journey for Finn or have people just stopped giving a fuck about his arc or anything that doesn't have to do with Rey?
Did people ever give a fuck? I am unable to find a book about him, though there are a few blog posts, and even these search results start showing posts about Rey halfway down the first page. The top result on a Google search for “star wars finn hero’s journey” starts out by calling Finn “afraid, prone to mistakes and naive in the extreme.” Yaigh.
On the bright side so far I’ve written about 14,000 words of meta analysis on Finn, though not specifically on the hero’s journey which I don’t put much stock in anyway. If you’re interested, here they are in chronological order for your reading pleasure:
Finn’s subversive decency - Discusses how Finn’s very decency was a resistance against the First Order, whether consciously or not.
Finn handles a blaster like no one else - Goes into great depth on his all-too-fleeting moments of blaster wizardry on Takodana. There is some interesting commentary in the notes, too, such as his style being reminiscent of the original Clonetroopers.
Here’s an untitled piece where I geek the hell out over that moment Finn threw away his blaster running to Rey’s side. I fully admit I could be biased here, but I think that moment has a deeper meaning than just his devotion to Rey. It’s also my way of reconciling what I see as an incongruity in the way Ren’s power is portrayed. Also of interest, this direction is not in the script and is one of the Finn-centric changes made to the Starkiller sequence.
Finn’s disobedience and defection: Parallels to real-life resistance against Nazi Germany - This is an essay I wish had gotten more exposure, in part because it took more work than any other post on this list. I can see how it’s dry and involved compared to the others, though. It examines Finn’s actions from a historical perspective, drawing from stories of German soldiers who refused orders to commit war crimes, Resistance fighters in German-occupied territory, and German and Austrian soldiers who fought with Allied powers.
And I am by no means done delving into Finn’s story. To me he is the single most fascinating character to come along in years, and it makes me so angry that he gets so little attention other than being dismissed with a pat on the head as a bumbling good guy because ugh, no.
“Remember Death”. WWI fighter pilots had short life expectancy; to cope many of them developed a reputation for fast living, hard drinking, and dark humor. This is a memento mori of a German fighter squadron.
During the summer, 1942, aerial victories were hard to come by. Operating in the northern sector of the front usually meant little action as all the Soviet air activity was now combating German Army Group South’s summer offensive, Case Blue. Every now and again an enemy aircraft would be sighted and shot down, but Kittel was frustrated. The ground crews kept up his spirits. On 19 February 1943, Feldwebel Kittel achieved his 39th victory, which was also JG 54’s 4,000th of the war. JG 54 Geschwaderkommodore Hannes Trautloft congratulated Kittel and said the following: “I have instructed that you’re no longer to be assigned as wingman. Instead you’re to be sent on freie Jagd on your own whenever there’s an opportunity.” In early 1943, JG 54 had been withdrawn from the frontline to convert to the Fw 190. With stronger undercarriage for the harsher conditions on the Eastern Front, greater firepower, speed and agility, the fighter was popular among pilots. Kittel, in particular, was pleased. The Fw 190 was an ideal interceptor against the tough and heavily armoured Shturmovik, his favourite target. At this point, Kittel’s victory tally climbed rapidly. By mid-March 1943, Kittel had reached 46 victories, encompassing all types of aircraft.
On 14 or 15 March 1943 while on a mission over the Demyansk pocket, Kittel’s Fw 190 suffered engine failure. He was 80 kilometres (50 mi) behind Soviet lines. He removed his precision board clock, an intricately engineered instrument (all pilots were ordered to do so) and landed his Fw 190 which slid 150 metres (490 ft) to a stop in a snow-covered field. His comrade, and a member of the flight, Herbert Broennle, advised him to hide after landing, to travel only by night and use a compass on a heading of 255 degrees (north-west) which would take him to Stayara Russa, towards JG 54’s base behind German lines. Broennle himself had been shot down under the same circumstances in 1941, and had experience. Kittel ran for the nearest forest after landing. Several Russian women and children saw the crash from two houses nearby and came running out. No men were in sight. When Kittel got to the forest he found he had left his emergency rations behind, having only chocolate bar with him. He continued through the forest, able to move through the forest during the day unseen, resting often. Needing to eat, he raided several empty houses and found clothes but no food. Determined to find food, and now looking like a Russian peasant, he passed through several Soviet checkpoints looking for something to eat. Kittel spoke Czech and some Russian and managed to evade detection. On the route he stopped at several points and was given food. Eventually Kittel made it to the edge of Lake Ilmen. At night he crossed the frozen lake and made it to German lines. Kittel was ‘recaptured’ three days after crashing by a German sentry.
Kittel took leave in March/April 1943. By the time he returned Walter Nowotny had taken over the Gruppe. Hans Philipp had left to take command of Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1) in Germany. He was killed on 8 October 1943. On 3 May 1943, Kittel resumed his combat career with three victories. However he was shot down and forced landed owing to return fire from a bombers’ gunner. On 10 June 1943 Kittel achieved another kill to reach 50.
Kursk and back to the Baltic;
JG 54 took part in many of the spring battles over the Crimea Peninsula, Vyazma-Bryansk, Vitebsk, Kharkov, Orsha and Orel regions. As the spring battles ended, the Germans prepared for Operation Citadel, which led to the Battle of Kursk. During the air battles Kittel’s unit escorted Junkers Ju 87 Stukas of III./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 (Third Group, StG 2, or Dive Bomber Wing 2), which achieved fame under the leadership of Hans-Ulrich Rudel. On 5 July 1943, the Germans launched their attack. By this date, Otto Kittel had claimed 56 victories. During the first day of Citadel Kittel became an “ace-in-a-day” claiming six victories. The next day he shot down three more Soviet aircraft. It was at this point Kittel won recognition and become one of the most prominent aces. After the German defeat at Kursk, Kittel continued participating in further battles as the German Army retreated to the Dnieper river. Kittel had achieved a one kill per day average to reach 94 victories on 4 September 1943. Just 11 days later, on 15 September 1943, Kittel claimed his 100th aerial victory. He was the 53rd Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark He received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 29 October 1943 for 120 victories. By the time he was awarded it on 29 October, he had added three more victories to reach 123. Between November 1943 through January 1944 Kittel was chief instructor of the Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost (Training Group East) in Biarritz, France, passing on knowledge and experience to the Jagdflieger of the future. Unhappy in a teaching role, Kittel filed several applications to return to combat, and in March 1944 Kittel returned to JG 54 on the Eastern Front.
On 2 April 1944, having achieved 144 victories, Kittel claimed a further six for a total of 150. Kittel’s 150th victory was claimed sometime between 4–8 April 1944. On April 14 he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) for his 152nd aerial victory, claimed on 12 April. Kittel received the Oak Leaves from Adolf Hitler at the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia on 5 May 1944, becoming the 449th German so recognised. Kittel continued to increase his tally, shooting down another 50 aircraft by 26 August 1944, bringing his overall total to 200. At this time, Kittel was flying a Fw 190A-6, “Yellow 5”. By the 27 October 1944, Kittel had achieved 254 victories, a total of 102 in just six months. He earned the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) on 25 November 1944 for 264 victories, only the 113th German serviceman to receive the award. Kittel flew to Hitler’s Headquarters to receive the award and then continued to Germany to spend his leave there. When he returned in January 1945 he took over 2 ./JG 54, or 2 Staffel. Kittel added a further three victories during his time as the Staffel’s leader. By 13 February 1945, Kittel had a personal total of 266 aerial victories.
At 12:06 on 14 or 16 February 1945, Otto Kittel took off with his Geschwader flying Fw 190 A-8 “Black 1”, Werknummer 690 282, to engage a formation of 14 Shturmovik aircraft over the Courland Pocket. At 12:13 he made contact with the formation at low altitude, no more than 100–150 metres (328 to 492 feet). Kittel attacked, firing at and damaging several Shturmovik. Kittel damaged one aircraft and chased it. As he closed in for the kill, his Focke-Wulf was hit by return fire from a rear gunner, and descended towards the ground on fire. Kittel, probably incapacitated and unable to use his parachute, did not bail out and the Fw 190 crashed in flames. The site of the crash is believed to have been six kilometres (3.7 miles) south-west of Džūkste in Latvia. Witnesses from Kittel’s formation reported that a Shturmovik had been shot down by Otto before he himself was killed during the air battle having scored his 267th and final victory
A German fighter-bomber Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-4 from the composition of the SKG 10 (Schnellkampfgeschwader 10) out on the highway via Balbia (Via Balbia) in Libya. On earth burns the affected equipment of the enemy.
Born to a Russian peasant family in 1916, Anna Yegorova was one of the deadliest and most celebrated Soviet pilots of World War II. While working as a factory worker before the war, Yegorova received pilots training and eventually became a flight instructor. When the Germans invaded in 1941, she volunteered for the Soviet Air Force, however Soviet commanders at the time were slow to accept women for combat service. Instead, she was assigned to fly an aging rickety biplane as a reconnaissance pilot. Between 1941 and 1942 she flew 100 reconnaissance missions, many of which were very dangerous. On her 100th mission, her plane was intercepted by a German fighter. Completely outclassed in her puttering antique biplane, she was easily shot down by the fighter. Having no parachute she was forced to crash land as her plane erupted into flames around her. After the crash, she hid in a corn field as the German fighter straffed her with machine guns until running out of ammo and flying away. Despite suffering horrific burns over much of her body, she returned to base and personally delivered her maps. For her actions she was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned for training at a combat aviation school.
While in combat training Yegorova gained a reputation as one of the best pilots of her class. She was trained to fly the Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik, a heavily armed and armored ground attack aircraft nicknamed “The Flying Tank”. Throughout the war, the IL-2 was used as a close air support craft, and was specifically used to destroy German tanks. After graduating combat aviation school in 1943, she was assigned command of an IL-2 squadron that was part of the 805th Attack Aviation Regiment. Over the next year she commanded 177 combat missions, destroying scores of German tanks, armored vehicles, and trucks. A true terror of sky, she was known as a superior pilot and a fearless combat leader. Among the enemy she was known as the “Flying Witch”. During her combat duty, she was awarded the Order of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, and two Orders of the Patriotic War 1st Class.
On an attack on a German column in Auguast of 1944, an anti craft shell exploded below the seat of her cockpit, the force of which blew her through her cockpit canopy. Before falling unconscious Yegorova pulled the rip cord or her parachute. However the parachute failed to open completely, and she was sent screaming to the earth until she slammed into the ground. Soviet officials believed she was dead, and posthumously awarded her the title “Hero of the Soviet Union”.
As if by miracle, Yegorova was alive, but she was seriously injured with several broken ribs, dislocated arms and shoulders, severe spinal fractures, a concussion, burns, and numerous internal injuries. Barely alive and slipping in and out of a coma, Yegorova was sent to Kustrin Prison Camp in Poland, where she was dumped in a prison cell and left to die. Fortunately, she was tended by another prisoner, a Russian physician named Georgy Sinyakov. Amazingly, working 20 hours a day with little food or medical supplies, Dr. Sinyakov was able to nurse her back to health. A selfless healer who treated thousands of POW’s with what little he had, he even sacrificed some of his own rations so that Yegorova would live. Despite his care, her wounds never completely healed and she suffered physical disability the rest of her life. When she was barely strong enough to stand, the German SS and Gestapo began to interrogate her, often resorting to beatings and torture. During her imprisonment, she told nothing to her interrogators.
In January of 1945, Kustrin Prison Camp was liberated by the Red Army. The guards of the camp had planned to shoot all the prisoners before leaving, however Dr. Sinyakov convinced the Germans to leave without firing a shot. While she was free of German imprisonment, Yegorova’s ordeal was far from over. Under Stalin’s orders Soviet soldiers, sailors, and airmen were forbidden from surrendering, and to Stalin there were no Soviet POW’s, only traitors. Upon liberation, Yegorova was arrested by the Soviet NKVD and interrogated for 11 days on suspicion of being a spy and a traitor. She was also stripped of all her awards and titles, with her combat record being erased from all official Soviet documents. After all the combat, her life threating injuries which left her body permanently wrecked and disfigured, the torture at the hands of the Germans, and having all of her life’s accomplishment revoked, the moment of her life which brought tears to her eyes even decades later was when an NKVD interrogator called her “a fascist bitch”. One the 11th day of her interrogation she finally made the demand, “You can shoot me, but I will not let you torture me!”. Later that day, she was cleared of charges and released when Soviet Air Force commanders intervened on her behalf. She was declared an invalid and released from military service.
After the war, Yegorova married, raised a family with two children, and desperately petitioned the Soviet Government to restore her service record and awards. Finally, in 1965 her awards were returned, including the coveted title “Hero of the Soviet Union”. On a side note, Dr. Simyakov, an earthly saint IMO, received no recognition for his work at Kustrin Prison Camp while he was alive, despite the accounts of thousands of Soviet servicemen who he had treated while at the camp. He returned to his life as a doctor, and passed away in 1978. Anna Yegorova passed away on the 29th of October, 2009, at the age of 93.
(9 April 1920 – 13 December 2004) was one of the most successful German fighter aces of World War II.
Beerenbrock claimed 117 aerial victories in approximately 400 combat missions, all on the Eastern Front.