Back in 2015, John Boyega became the first black stormtrooper in The Force Awakens, who rejected his role in the First Order and went on to join the Resistance, reprising the role of Finn in The Last Jedi as well as Rise of the Skywalker. But what was supposed to be a dream come true turned into a bitter experience. After Boyega made his debut in the J. J. Abrams feature, his addition to the film was met with criticism while he faced severe abuse and intense bullying for being a black lead actor in the franchise. Though the actor has responded strongly and confidently to the same, he still feels that Disney should have protected him from the online racial backlash.
In a recent chat, the actor touched upon the rumours that he is eager to reprise his role as Finn in the upcoming Star Wars films and refuted those claims, explaining that as of now he has no plans on returning to the character as he seeks "versatility" in his career.
"At this moment, versatility is like the biggest thing for me right now. There are so many people I would really like to explore versatility [with], different roles and different characters. This is what I do. I enjoy what I do so to stay in one place could be sometimes hard."
In a much-talked about interview with GQ in September, John Boyega had chided Disney for how they treated him and Kelly Marie Tran, by sidelining their characters in The Last Jedi and Rise of the Skywalker. He implored them to support the next black actor they cast and ensure that they don't get "Boyega-ed."
"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. 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- 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. "
Once again criticising the treatment he received, Boyega has shared that he expects Hollywood studios like Disney to take a stand for their actors, especially when the matter veers towards caste and color.
"When one of your actors, especially an actor that's so prominent in the story, is announced as part of your franchise and then it has a big racial backlash and receives abuse online and that starts to form a shadow on what is supposed to be an amazing gift, it is important for the studios to definitely lend their voice, lend their support to that and to have a sense of solidarity not just in the public eye, but on the ground on set."
After his prior public comments regarding Disney's partial treatment, Boyega had shared with The Hollywood Reporter that he was contacted by a Disney executive and they had "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."
While John Boyega may have no plans of re-joining the Star Wars films anytime soon, fans of the actor can soon see him delivering his fine acting chops in Amazon Prime's miniseries Small Axe. This news comes to us via Variety.