John Boyega will always be grateful to Star Wars for the platform it gave the actor, with his high profile role as Finn serving as the springboard for what’s set to be a long and hugely successful career, but the 29 year-old has hardly been shy when it comes to criticizing his time as part of the franchise.
He’s been outspoken on blasting the lack of diversity on display in the Sequel Trilogy, not to mention the continued sidelining of Finn as the narrative pivoted its focus towards the dynamic between Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren at the expense of the supporting cast, who were initially being set up as integral parts of the story when The Force Awakens arrived.
Boyega even spoke with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy on the matter, and she was fully supportive of his stance, and in a new interview, the Pacific Rim: Uprising star compared Star Wars to the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it comes to investing in certain characters via a lengthy buildup and payoff.
“Well, I think I wanted to discuss the elephant in the room that is easily dismissed sometimes, easily seen as a selfish act, a way to put the attention on you. I wanted to discuss an issue that I discussed with actors on set, an issue that I had discussed with, you know, professional individuals, you know, execs, producers who I’d meet, whether at award shows or meetings, who were noticing the same things I’d noticed.
And I guess I just wanted to say it out loud so that it wouldn’t be an awkward conversation to have, because I think, in general, what I realized after all of this is that, in general, I think human beings assume the worst. So as soon as you open up about something like that, people assume that you’re doing it for the worst reasons, right? Doing it for yourself. But they forget that there’s a big process, and especially when it comes to studio films and characters.
The characters are only as good as the moments that you give them. When we talk about, you know, Captain America and him kind of facing off Thanos and his army, when you talk about these moments that are given to characters, it’s only because these moments are written by somebody. These moments are put in there on purpose to elevate characters. We’ve got people now watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and a lot of people have been commenting about the elevation of Falcon’s character in the series and how they’ve really done well with bringing him up, which I also agree as well. You know, that’s because you give characters these special moments. But then what then happens when some moments feels like you’re being bypassed and it kind of goes for years and years and things pile on?”
Star Wars might be in the rear view mirror for Boyega, and he’s hardly in any rush to come back, but his upcoming schedule is more than enough to keep him occupied. Hot off the success of winning a Golden Globe for his performance in Steve McQueen’s anthology series Small Axe, he’s got drama Naked Singularity coming later this year, while he recently wrapped Netflix sci-fi comedy They Cloned Tyrone opposite Jamie Foxx and Teyonah Parris before moving straight onto R-rated thriller Rebel Ridge, and that’s without even mentioning that Attack the Block 2 is finally happening with Joe Cornish a decade after the original helped put the leading man on the map.