John Boyega is not the first member of the Star Wars cast to express complaints or a lack of enthusiasm for their experience. Mark Hamill has openly expressed his disappointment with the sequel trilogy’s handling of his character, Luke Skywalker. In addition, Oscar Isaac, who played Poe Dameron, has been dismissive in regard to the possibility of returning to Star Wars in the future.
Boyega recently sat down with GQ Magazine, his first interview since completing the Rise of Skywalker and in light of his speech that day in London. There, he shared a different view of his experience working on Star Wars and his frustration with how he and other actors of color were sidelined in favor of Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren:
“It’s so difficult to manoeuvre. You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [But] 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.”
In Disney’s sequel trilogy, John Boyega played Finn, a rogue stormtrooper whose character’s storyline started off strong but progressively became as much of an after-thought as the trilogy’s overall storyline.
Boyega further commented on his character’s treatment versus Ridley’s and Driver’s, also mentioning the treatment of Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico:
“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver. 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? 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.”
It’s always difficult to tell what a film or trilogy’s legacy will be. For a series of films plagued by troubled productions and a lack of story direction, it appears John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran’s experiences, especially at this time in our history, may be an unfortunate part of the trilogy’s legacy.