The very first image in the very first teaser trailer for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS was of John Boyega’s Finn, rising into frame on the desert world of Jakku. Although the former stormtrooper played a very important role in that first film, it seems as though Finn’s role diminished as the Sequel Trilogy moved forward, and Boyega even called Disney out on their treatment of characters played by people of colour following the release of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. “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,” Boyega said. “It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.“
In a new interview with THR, John Boyega said that he wasn’t interested in keeping quiet. “I’m the type of person that came into an industry in which I felt there was, not to give it the L.A. stab, just a lot of pretense,” Boyega said. “I don’t roll like that. I’ve been in situations in life in which I know what it feels like to have your life at risk. There are deeper things going on here. I don’t care about trying to mesh in with the system in order to secretly work it. That’s just not my way. Everyone’s just got to have an honest and open conversation. It doesn’t have to be conflicting or rude, but it’s a chance for us to actually, really and truly understand where each other is coming from.” That said, a Disney executive did get in touch with John Boyega when the interview was first published.
It was a very honest, a very transparent conversation. There was a lot of explaining on their end in terms of the way they saw things. They gave me a chance also to explain what my experience was like. I’d hope that me being so open with my career, at this stage, would help the next man, the guy that wants to be the assistant DOP, the guy that wants to be a producer. I hope that the conversation is not such a taboo or elephant in the room now, because someone just came and said it.
Although Finn’s arc in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER may not have been quite what John Boyega has envisioned for the character, he did recently express enthusiasm for Colin Trevorrow’s original script for the film, which would have seen Finn leading an uprising on Coruscant. Boyega will next be seen in Small Axe, an anthology film series created and directed by Steve McQueen that will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on November 20th.