Months after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released, John Boyega is opening up about the way his character and his role in the films were treated by Disney. He has accused Disney of sidelining his character after marketing him as an important figure and says his experience of the series was different as a black actor.
When Disney first revealed John Boyega as a stormtrooper in “The Force Awakens,” he immediately became the target of racist comments from “Star Wars” fans protesting the casting of a Black person in the role. In an extensive interview with GQ magazine, John Boyega expressed bitterness over how his role as stormtrooper Finn faded in the later episodes of the trilogy which concluded with The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.
“What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up,” he told GQ magazine.
Many of the issues John Boyega brings up are complaints that Star Wars fans and critics also had with the direction of his character, specifically how Finn was sidelined, and never given a chance to flourish while other characters, like Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, did.
And he said he wasn’t the only one cast aside. It was every person of color involved in the movies, including Naomi Ackie, Kelly Marie Tran, and Oscar Isaac, he said.
“They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything,” John Boyega said.
“So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, ‘I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience…’ Nah, nah, nah. I’ll take that deal when it’s a great experience.”
John Boyega became a viral sensation in June when he gave a powerful speech at an anti-racism protest in London following the death of George Floyd.
You can read the full GQ interview here.
By: Dammy Eneli