NPCs have families too. They have parents who raised them, probably siblings, and cousins, and potentially even partners and children. So don't always think of them in a solitary context. Thinks about how their life and their beliefs have been shaped by their parents, and what their relationships with their siblings and loved ones is.
An NPC opponent might be a faceless mook to a party of heroes, but they may also be a breadwinner for their family, or have elderly parents to look after. That will motivate them to behave in certain ways.
You don't have to do too much in this direction either. Simply having NPCs not behave like anonymous action movie mooks and even slightly more like real people will make a big difference to your games.
Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)
It's a given that at some point, your RPG session will decay into a series of puns. This is normal. In general, you want to acknowledge that there will be a kernel of truth in the major portions of the discussions. It is admirable to know that these puns don't have to be in private, that you can share them as a group.
Remember: These players are stand-ins, representing their characters; in a real sense, all of you are servants to the story, common story-tellers.
In the security room, we see people actually monitoring the hangar bay. Imagine - what if in Episode IV, we had someone monitoring hallways outside the hangars? Clearly, this is a sign that the Empire is actually getting better.
Keep in mind, we've overthrown the "evil" Empire, this is supposed to be a modern society, with a reasonable military, right? And since there are no external threats, this is just a high-powered militia, to keep the peace around the now good modern military, right? That's gotta be what Finn tells himself, at least up to the point where he was ordered to fire on unarmed civilians. Right?
Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)
Huh, interesting that Kaplan immediately concludes that it's escaping prisoners and not a communication error of some kind. No attempts at confirming if there's anyone important inside, no checking if there's any new standing orders about unsanctioned flights, just straight to "blow it up". I wonder if this is a somewhat common occurrence. General Hux and Kylo Ren really should have First let some of their Staff know not to immediately open fire, but perhaps they've already done something with the Gunnery crews so they can't.
Also, that's a good subtle reminder by the GM that's it's been... 30 years since the second
Death Star Peace Moon was blown up and Palpatine died. That's just long enough, I think, for someone to have kids after the war and for those kids to grow old enough to get to the rank of Colonel and whichever rank of petty officer the younger person is. Any bets that the Colonel and younger officer have backstories written up for them as well or will this be more of a Grizz and Ekelarc situation of a single scene appearance?
GM: A petty officer in the hangar control room raises the alarm.
Petty Officer Thanisson: We have an unsanctioned departure from Bay Two.
GM: Colonel Kaplan responds.
Colonel Kaplan: How do you know?
Petty Officer Thanisson: I have the sight. I can see things.
Colonel Kaplan: How does that work?
Petty Officer Thanisson: I look out that window.
Colonel Kaplan: Prisoners escaping. My dad said they executed prisoners in his day, during the Rebellion.
Petty Officer Thanisson: Your father told you about the Rebellion? Mine never did.
Colonel Kaplan: Destroy that fighter! And alert General Hux!
General Hux: There’s already a General Alert.
Rey: Sounds like there’s some colonel panic.
Kylo Ren: That could lead to a major disaster.
GM: Enough with the rank puns.
Finn: They’re no more rank than usual.