The heroes of the movie were instantly charming, thanks to some canny writing and the overwhelming appeal of their young actors. There’s conscientious deserter stromtrooper Finn (John Boyega), orphan scavenger and Force prodigy Rey (Daisy Ridley), loyal pilot Poe Damaron (Oscar Isaac), and even the spherical droid BB-8. In each small moment of their interaction, this movie is not afraid to make these characters unabashed good guys: warm, compassionate, and (when duty or destiny calls) heroic in the face of their fears. They easily slip into joyful friendships with each other and with returning scoundrel Han Solo. As DarwinCatholic pointed out, this is “willing-the-good-for-the-other friendship, pursuit-of-the-good friendship,” the kind to make a virtue ethicist’s heart sing. Poe gives Finn his name when Finn deserts the side of evil with only a number to go by. Finn celebrates Rey’s astonishing feats of piloting, and she his crack marksmanship. BB-8 uses one of its robotic attachments to mimic Finn’s thumbs-up. Han offers Rey a home and hope on the Millenium Falcon. It’s refreshing that the filmmakers chose not to reheat Han Solo and Princess Leia’s bickering chemistry for their new lead young leads: after every other franchise has tried to ape this dynamic, Star Wars gets to feel fresh simply by having its leads become genuine friends.
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