Star Wars’ John Boyega Explains How The Studio Should Have Responded To Racial Backlash

John Boyega in The Last Jedi

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Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises of all time, known for making household names of its various stars. This includes John Boyega, who starred as Finn in the sequel trilogy. Boyega's time in the galaxy far, far away has seemingly come to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, after which the actor has been honest about the racial backlash he faced upon being cast as the former Stromtrooper. And now the actor/producer has opened up about how the studio can handle this type of situation moving forward.

John Boyega made his Star Wars debut in J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens, which marked the first big screen return to the property since the prequels. While fans were thrilled to dive back into George Lucas' colorful world, Boyega was the subject to online harassment and bullying due to being the first Black actor with a leading role. Now the Pacific Rim: Uprising star has explained how the studio should react if this happens again in the future. In his words,

When one of your actors, especially an actor that’s so prominent in the story, is announced as part of your franchise and then it has a big racial backlash and receives abuse online and that starts to form a shadow on what is supposed to be an amazing gift, it is important for the studios to definitely lend their voice, lend their support to that and to have a sense of solidarity not just in the public eye, but on the ground on set.

Touche. It looks like John Boyega could have used some support from the powers that be when facing racial hatred in regards to his Star Wars role. And since he wasn't the only actor to face this type of backlash, his comments could definitely be helpful moving forward. Only time will tell how the fandom will react to future changes and casting in the beloved franchise.

John Boyega's comments to Variety is the latest time that the 28 year-old actor has used his platform to shine a light on what it was really like within the galaxy far, far away. Because while his three appearances as Finn have made Boyega a household name, it wasn't without some sacrifice. Especially in regards to the backlash he faced as a result of being a Black man in the property.

Star Wars fans can re-watch John Boyega's tenure as Finn on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Of course, John Boyega wasn't the only Star Wars actor to face backlash specifically regarding his race. Rose Tico actress Kelly Marie Tran faced a ton of hate after debuting in The Last Jedi, forcing her to leave social media altogether and start therapy. And according to Boyega's above comments, he could have definitely used more support during his time playing Finn.

Despite The Rise of Skywalker marking the final chapter in the nine-film Skywalker Saga, fans are already eager to see John Boyega return to the franchise as Finn. His character did survive Episode IX, so it would be logical for him to appear in a future TV or film project. Boyega doesn't seem interested in reprising his role anytime soon, but perhaps he and co-stars Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac can be convinced years down the line.

The Star Wars franchise is continuing with The Mandalorian on Disney+, although it's unclear when it'll return to theaters. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.