Booked, busy and happily earthbound for the time being, John Boyega has no plans to return to a galaxy far, far away any time soon.
The actor, whose role as Finn in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy rocket-boosted him to superstardom, has soured on the blockbuster franchise ― and for good reason given the years he spent dealing with racist trolls who relentlessly harassed him online.
“At this point I’m cool off it. I’m good off it,” Boyega said during a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s “Tell Me Everything With John Fugelsang” show. “I think Finn is at a good confirmation point where you can just enjoy him in other things, the games, the animation. But I feel like ‘[Episode] VII’ to ‘[Episode] IX’ was good for me.”
The star is instead seeking “versatility” when it comes to his roles in films, which include the recently released drama “Breaking” and the upcoming historical epic “The Woman King.”
“To be fair, [with] the allies that I’ve found within Joel Taylor and Jamie Foxx, Teyonah Parris, Viola Davis, all these people I’ve been working with … versatility is my path,” he added.
But Boyega isn’t holding on to resentment, sharing he’s at “peace” given how Disney recently handled the racist backlash toward actor Moses Ingram over her role in “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
“It doesn’t make me feel bitter at all. It makes me feel like sometimes you are that guy, and my dad taught me that. Sometimes you’re not the guy to get the blessing and sometimes you are Moses,” he explained. “You lead the people to the mountain, but you see the destination. You don’t get to go in, you get others to go in. And that’s where you get your happiness from.”
“Moses Ingram being protected makes me feel protected. It makes me feel like, ‘OK, cool. I am not the elephant in the room,’” the actor continued, noting that, when he first joined the franchise, the studio was “silent” in conversations about race.
Ewan McGregor, the star and executive producer of the recent Disney+ series, forcefully condemned the racist online attacks directed at Ingram, which he said “broke my heart” and “sickened me to my stomach.”
For Boyega, McGregor’s reaction and Disney’s response at large “fulfills my time where I didn’t get support.”
“For me to see other people accepted, and then at the same time to see that the studios now are like, ‘OK, cool. This is not an elephant in the room conversation. We need to support our Black client.’ It’s fantastic,” he said.
After his final performance in the trilogy’s polarizing conclusion, “The Rise of Skywalker,” Boyega candidly shared his frustrations about the treatment of his character in a 2020 GQ interview. The British actor said he wasn’t “exposing anything” by plainly stating that Finn was “pushed aside,” while the white characters played by Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver were given all the “nuance.”
“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,” he told the outlet. “It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”