John Boyega said he had an ‘honest’ conversation with Disney after criticizing ‘Star Wars’ for sidelining characters of color

  • John Boyega said he spoke to a Disney executive about his "Star Wars" criticism.
  • In a September GQ interview Boyega spoke out about his character, Finn, being sidelined in "The Rise of Skywalker." 
  • "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 GQ. "It's not good."
  • Boyega told The Hollywood Reporter, a Disney exec reached out afterward and the two had "a very honest, a very transparent conversation."
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John Boyega recently revealed that his criticism of how his character was sidelined in the latest "Star Wars" trilogy has led to talks with Disney.

The British actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he had a conversation with a Disney executive following his criticism, shared in a September GQ interview, of how he and Kelly Marie Tran's character Rose were marginalized in "The Rise of Skywalker" after having such large roles in "The Last Jedi."

"It was a very honest, a very transparent conversation," Boyega told THR. "There was a lot of explaining on their end in terms of the way they saw things. They gave me a chance also to explain what my experience was like."

Boyega added that he felt it neccesary to speak up to hopefully change the environment for Black actors and other actors of color coming up in the industry behind him — in front of the camera and behind it.

"I'd hope that me being so open with my career, at this stage, would help the next man, the guy that wants to be the assistant DOP, the guy that wants to be a producer," he continued in the magazine. "I hope that the conversation is not such a taboo or elephant in the room now because someone just came and said it."

In his GQ interview, Boyega was blunt about his experience working on the latest chapters of the "Star Wars" saga.

"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 said. "It's not good. I'll say it straight up."

Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega in "The Last Jedi."
Disney/Lucasfilm

Boyega seemed to be the face of the new trilogy, leading up to the release of 2015's "The Force Awakens." His face literally is the first we see of the new era of characters when the trailer came out. We watched as Boyega's Finn escaped the life of a First Order Stromtrooper and built a bond with Rey (Daisy Ridley).

In the second part of the trilogy, "The Last Jedi," Finn gets an entire subplot in the movie with Rose as they seek out a way to save the Resistance as it's being hunted down by the First Order. But when "The Rise of Skywalker" came around, the third installment of the trilogy released in 2019, Finn was pushed to a deep supporting role and Rose was nonexistent.

Boyega felt Disney had a plan all along, and Finn and Rose weren't apart of it.

"When it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, [Disney knew] f— all," Boyega told GQ earlier this year. "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 [who played Ben Solo], all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let's be honest," he continued. "Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I'm not exposing anything."

Boyega will next be seen in the Amazon series, "Small Axe."

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