John Boyega has expressed “frustration” with Disney’s kid-gloves handling of fan protests when he was cast as a “Black Stormtrooper” in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
John Boyega has been very vocal about his, shall we say, not-always-pleasant experiences in the Star Wars-verse. For one, he was hurt to find his role, as reformed Storm Trooper Finn, wound up not being as big as he hoped after The Force Awakens. For another, he — along with Kelly Marie Tran — became targets of racist attacks from the worst realms of Star Wars fandom. Still, he was heartened earlier this year when Disney finally learned their lesson.
When the spin-off Obi-Wan Kenobi bowed earlier this summer, one of its supporting players, Moses Ingram, became the latest non-white Star Wars actor to suffer racist attacks. This time, though, the Star Wars team was ready. Lucasfilm passionately defended Ingram, with star Ewan McGregor going so far as to say those who attack Ingram are “no Star Wars fan in my mind.” That meant a lot to Boyega.
“That’s the peace that I felt,” Boyega said on a recent appearance on Sirius XM’s Tell Me Everything With John Fugelsang. “Moses Ingram being protected makes me feel protected. Do you understand what I’m saying? It makes me feel like, ‘Okay, cool. I am not the elephant in the room.’ Because when I started, it wasn’t really a conversation you could bring up. You know how they went through it. It was kind of like, ‘Let’s just be silent.’ It wasn’t a conversation you could bring up. But now to see how blatant it is, to see Ewan McGregor come and support…It, for me, fulfills my time where I didn’t get the support.”
When asked if he was bitter that the company didn’t roll out the big guns for him, Boyega replied, “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, you know, 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.”
In other words, Boyega’s happy that the company evolved since his Star Wars stint: “And for me to see other people accepted, and then at the same time to see that the studios now are like, ‘Okay, cool. This is not an elephant in the room conversation. We need to support our Black client.’ It’s fantastic.”
Boyega also noted that he’s “good” not playing Finn anymore. Besides, he’s found other things to do.
You can watch the actor’s Tell Me Everything With John Fugelsang appearance in the video below.