Finn's Stormtrooper number in the Star Wars sequel trilogy is a nod to A New Hope. Lucasfilm made the reveal over the holiday weekend. Pixar, Walt Disney Studios, and Marvel Studios all revealed some Easter Eggs of their own for people to go check out. The sequel trilogy just wrapped up with The Rise of Skywalker, putting an end to the Skywalker Saga, at least for the time being. Disney and Lucasfilm are going to concentrate on new stories with different characters from here on out.
Finn is introduced in The Force Awakens as a conflicted First Order Stormtrooper who defects. He joins up with Poe Dameron and they create a solid bond, which lasts throughout the three installments. However, the character doesn't have a true name, he only has what the First Order gave him. As it turns out, the name is a reference to A New Hope. You can read what official Star Wars Twitter account had to say about the name below.
"Finn's stormtrooper number was FN-2187. The # is a homage to cell 2187 located in detention block AA-23 on the Death Star, the cell of Princess Leia in A New Hope. Cell 2187 from ANH is a ref. to 21-87 a National Film Board of Canada short that inspired a young George Lucas."
FN-2187 was shortened to Finn by Poe in The Force Awakens and it stuck. 21-87 is a 1963 Canadian abstract montage-collage film created by Arthur Lipsett, which is just under ten minutes in length. The short was a major influence on a young George Lucas, who would go on to make "pure films" just like it, only to have the reference pop up in his later works. In addition to A New Hope, Lucas also referenced 21-87 in Revenge of the Sith. Order 66 derives from mathematical calculation 21-87.
The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters late last year and is now available on Blu-ray, along with digital outlets. Star Wars fans have been watching the final installment of the Skywalker Saga in an effort to find more hidden references to the franchise has a whole. There are a ton in there, since J.J. Abrams likes to include them in everything he does, but fans have yet to discover every last one.
The Star Wars franchise normally has the Stormtroopers as background characters, but the sequel trilogy gave us better insight into characters like Finn and Jannah. However, a lot of fans would have liked to see a bit more of Finn's backstory to complete his story arc, though the same could be said for a lot of the characters involved in the latest trilogy. Maybe Finn' story will be told elsewhere for fans to get into. For now, we'll just have to wait and see what Lucasfilm decides to do. You can check out the official Star Wars Twitter account's Easter Egg reveal below.