Star Wars: John Boyega calls out treatment of POC characters
In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Star Wars alum John Boyega has again opened up about his six-year experience with the iconic sci-fi franchise by expressing his frustrations on how Disney and Lucasfilm failed to give more depth and importance to the Star Wars sequels’ POC characters, including Boyega’s Finn, Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, Naomi Ackie’s Jannah, and even Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron.
“It’s so difficult to manoeuvre,” Boyega said. “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.”
“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.”
Since The Skywalker Saga had concluded last year, some of the film’s cast have been very vocal about their disappointment with their characters’ development throughout the latest trilogy. Boyega is also not the first actor in the sequel trilogy to confirm they are done with the Disney-owned franchise, with Oscar Isaac (Dune) shooting down the possibility of ever returning as Poe Dameron in future projects.
The British-Nigerian actor has a full roster of upcoming projects on his docket including the law drama Naked Singularity, Steve McQueen-created/directed/executive produced anthology drama Small Axe and Netflix thrillers They Cloned Tyrone and Rebel Ridge. He has also used his recent downtime from filming to take part in political activism for the Black Lives Matter movement in his home city of London.
After six months since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had made its premiere in December, director J.J. Abrams’ epic conclusion to the Skywalker saga has already earned more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office and has recently received three Oscar nominations including Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Editing.
Returning cast members for The Rise of Skywalker include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast are Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), and Keri Russell (The Americans), who will also be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. The role of Leia Organa is once again played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.