John Boyega has never been quiet about his opinions on the three Star Wars films he starred in, and in a recent interview with British GQ he opened up even more. He explicitly called out Disney for not knowing how to handle its minority characters in the new Star Wars films and sidelining him and co-stars Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, and Naomi Ackie.
Boyega spoke to the fact that his feelings about the films were “difficult to maneuver,” fully admitting that they were a great opportunity for his career but that the way Disney handled his character was not good.
“You guys (Disney) knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” said Boyega. “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.”
The actor also commented on how Disney marketed the film as something more inclusive, and that’s what he thought he was signing up for. “You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything,” Boyega said. “[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.”
There is an argument that Disney didn’t handle any of the characters all that well, especially in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, where whole plotlines and characters were torn up and shoved to the side. Boyega, however, defends J.J. Abrams on that film, saying, “Everybody needs to leave my boy alone. He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your shit.”
The argument there that Rian Johnson broke the “shit” is debatable, to say the least, but one thing is for sure — Disney’s film efforts have left fans divided and even the stars of the films themselves upset. Thankfully, Star Wars TV efforts are going far better, and we’ll all get more of that very soon.
Since the GQ story published, John Boyega has followed up on Twitter:
These conversations and me sharing isn’t about a witch hunt. It’s about clarity to an anger that can be seen as selfish, disruptive and self indulgent. Obviously in hopes of better change.Bruh. In short. I said what I said. Love to you all seriously. Your support is amazing ! ❤️
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 2, 2020