John Boyega has spoken candidly about his disappointment with the way his character Finn was “pushed to the side” as the Star Wars sequel trilogy continued.
Boyega, who previously revealed that he was “really adamant” Finn would have more involvement in the trilogy’s final installment, 2019’s The Rise Of Skywalker, also said the franchise gave “all the nuance” to white characters played by Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver.
“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,” he said in a new interview with British GQ. “It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
During the interview, journalist Jimi Famurewa notes that Boyega isn’t just talking about his own Star Wars character, but also those played by fellow actors of color Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Naomie Ackie (Jannah), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron).
“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” Boyega said. “You knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know f**k all. So what do you want me to say?”
He added: “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. 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.”
Boyega was widely praised in June when he delivered an impassioned, stirring speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London. “Black lives have always mattered,” Boyega told the crowd. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”
Boyega will be seen later this year in an episode of Small Axe, Sir Steve McQueen‘s upcoming miniseries telling five standalone stories set within London’s West Indian community from the late ’60s to the early ’80s. Boyega will portray Leroy Logan, a former superintendent in London’s Metropolitan Police who was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 for his role in combating racism within the force.
In the meantime, check out our recent feature on where else to watch John Boyega.
Were you disappointed with John Boyega’s story arc in Star Wars?