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John Boyega Says He Was ‘Pushed to the Side’ in Star Wars Trilogy

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Star Wars actor John Boyega just slammed Disney and he didn’t even need to use the Force. The 28-year-old Londoner detailed his frustrations with the updated Star Wars trilogy in an interview with British GQ, clarifying his longstanding issues with the franchise (and its fans). “It’s so difficult to maneuver,” he began. “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.” While you could sub out any of the few characters of colors here, his Finn, a reformed stormtrooper, went from a potential Jedi to third-wheel by the end of the last film. “Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” he continued. “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 fuck 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.”

Boyega acknowledges that the films were an “amazing opportunity” and a “stepping stone” to things like inspiring an entire Black Lives Matter rally, but he won’t deny the challenges of acting while Black. Like how white Star Wars “fans” attempted to boycott the film in 2015. “I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race,” he told British GQ. “Let’s just leave it like that. It makes you angry with a process like that. It makes you much more militant; it changes you. Because you realise, ‘I got given this opportunity but I’m in an industry that wasn’t even ready for me.’”

John Boyega Says He Was ‘Pushed to the Side’ in Star Wars