Actor John Boyega has said non-white characters were “pushed to the side” by Disney within the last Star Wars film.
The Londoner played Finn within the latest trilogy, which concluded last year.
But he said the film-makers didn’t know what to try to together with his and other diverse characters within the Rise of Skywalker.
Boyega told GQ that What he might tell Disney is don’t bring out a black character, market them to be far more important within the franchise than they then have them pushed to the side,
“It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
What else did he say?
Boyega, who In Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX, played a runaway Stormtrooper at Rey’s side as a member of the resistance, acknowledged an actor is “not necessarily getting to like everything” during a film. He said Star Wars was an “amazing opportunity” and a “stepping stone”.
But he vented his displeasure about the storylines within the Rise of Skywalker.
“You guys knew what to try to to with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to try to to with Adam Driver, you knew what to try to to with these people,” he told the magazine.
Ridley’s character Rey and Driver, as Kylo Ren, were at the guts of the plot about the fate of the Jedi and therefore the Skywalker dynasty.
But the film-makers didn’t know what do to with Finn or Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose, Boyega said. He also suggested Naomi Ackie, the black British actress who played Jannah, and Guatemalan-born Oscar Isaac, who played Poe, were similarly marginalized.
“What does one want me to say?” Boyega continued. “What they need you to mention is, ‘I enjoyed being a neighborhood of it. it had been an excellent experience…’
“Nah, Nah, Nah. I’ll take that deal when it is 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.”
He also spoke about hairstylists who had no experience of working with hair like his but “still had the center to pretend”.
How has Hollywood responded?
Disney has not responded, and nor has director JJ Abrams. But Boyega defended Abrams, who took up the director’s chair after Colin Trevorrow departed in 2017, saying: “Everybody must leave my boy alone.”
There’s been no response from any of the most figures within the Star Wars universe – or many others in Hollywood.
Those praising Boyega included Rachel Zegler, who will play Maria in Steven Spielberg’s new side Story; the great Place star Jameela Jamil; Matthew A Cherry, who won an Oscar for a brief film this year; and British actor Paterson Joseph.
Boyega also received widespread support from fans and commentators on social media, although others had less sympathy.
John Boyega was a nobody until Disney gave him a lead role in the greatest movie franchise ever. But this is what the woke cult does to you. Instead of becoming the next Harrison Ford he’s just a bitter man who’s never content. Sad, but a prison of his own making. https://t.co/6ArOxCipDk
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) September 3, 2020
Ya I read the article. That’s why I tweeted u. It’s show business.
Things don’t always work out the way YOU plan.Happens to ALL of Us. Again be grateful for all u done so far which is a lot more than TONS of great actors of all races who also had roles cut down & will continue to
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) September 2, 2020
Boyega responded to actor and presenter Rapaport.
🙂 no. Thanks though.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 2, 2020