Amidst nationwide protests against systematic racism in the U.S. and U.K., British-Nigerian Actor John Boyega spoke with GQ recently about how he felt people of color in the cast of Star Wars were poorly handled by Disney.
“You guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” he said. “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,” Boyega said.
Boyega went on to say that the narratives of the recent Star Wars trilogy pushed minority characters to the side. He specifically mentions the characters played by Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie and Oscar Isaac, who he feels received the same treatment as his own character, Finn.
“[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,” Boyega said. “It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
The most recent Star Wars film, Rise of the Skywalker, received some of the lowest critic scores of the entire franchise. While many rushed to accuse writer-director J.J. Abrams for the problems found in the finale of the newest trilogy, Boyega claims that he isn’t to blame.
“Everybody needs to leave my boy alone,” Boyega said. “He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your shit.”
Now that Boyega’s time with Star Wars is in the past, the 28-year-old actor has decided to move in a more serious direction. This fall, he’ll appear in the anthology drama series Small Axe, helmed by 12 Years a Slave and Widows filmmaker Steve McQueen.