John Boyega On His Star Wars Experience
Boyega Spoke His Truth To British GQ
People forget this: The turning point of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy actually happens very early in The Force Awakens.
Stormtrooper FN-2187 [John Boyega], who trained his whole life for combat, is sickened by what he sees. And, after refusing to fire on civilians, Finn takes off his helmet and decides to fight for change.
In fact, asked by Poe Dameron, his would-be escape pilot, why he would rescue a Resistance soldier, Finn said, “It’s the right thing to do…” Yes, the comic relief that followed was charming, but it didn’t diminish the truth of John Boyega’s character.
The right thing to do….
Boyega Spoke Out
Boyega spoke out recently. And, in his first real interview since the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, he spoke his truth. And, while that truth was VERY hard to hear. I recommend reading the following tweet:
Here are some opinions:
-I think people should read the whole article
-I think people should respect John Boyega's lived experience
-I think this is a larger, more important conversation than just "which Star Wars movie was my favorite/the best"https://t.co/UD60QLr5U8
— Joseph Scrimshaw (@JosephScrimshaw) September 2, 2020
And now go do as my tweep Joseph Scrimshaw says and read the dang article. READ IT. Listen to what John is telling us.
- “[W]hat 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.”
- “Everybody needs to leave my boy [JJ Abrams] alone. He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your [stuff].”
- “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 [nothing].”
- “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.”
Read. Absorb. Think.
Difficult stuff to read. But, after absorbing the material — very pertinent and moving stuff — I had to sit back and think. And, for a life-long fan of the franchise, it was a necessary kick in the teeth; a reminder to keep everything in check, including my love for Star Wars (and Disney).
These days, nothing is sacrosanct. Even those involved in filming a beloved space saga — ostensibly about ridding the galaxy of oppression — have to fight their own battles on and off-set. Again, it was a needed reminder, once again, to check my privilege and grow up a bit.
As John Boyega’s dad told him:
‘Don’t overpay with respect.’ You can pay respect, but sometimes you’ll be overpaying and selling yourself short.
Clearly, John Boyega isn’t selling ANYONE short. And I am proud to be a fan.