Star Wars: John Boyega Expands On ‘Honest’ Conversation With Lucafilm’s Kathleen Kennedy

John Boyega in The Rise of Skywalker

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The Star Wars franchise has been passed down across generations of moviegoers, resulting in a deeply devoted fandom. And with galaxy growing through the sequel trilogy, standalone movies, and live-action shows, audiences have been known for voicing their opinions online. John Boyega's tenure as Finn ended with The Rise of Skywalker, and since then the 28 year-old actor/producer has been open about the racist backlash he faced while working on the franchise. And now he's further spoken to the honest conversation he recently had with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy.

John Boyega's Finn was one of the leading characters of Star Wars' sequel trilogy, alongside Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac. And with the former Stormtrooper's story brought to an end for the time being, Boyega has been using his platform to be honest about what the process was like for him, which resulted in a dialogue with Lucasfilm exec Kathleen Kennedy. He expanded his thoughts further, saying:

So I got on a phone call with Kathleen Kennedy and she verbally showed support and we got to have a really nice, transparent, honest conversation that is beneficial to both of us.

Well, this is encouraging. It looks like John Boyega was given some support by Kathleen Kennedy when speaking about his experience in the galaxy far, far away. Lucasfilm is showing no signs of slowing down its production, focusing on a mixture of TV and film content. And as such, these frank conversations can no doubt help factor into a better work environment for the employees.

John Boyega's comments to Deadline help peel back the curtain on what it was like for the actor in the wake of his viral comments regarding Star Wars hate. While getting the role of Finn was the job of a lifetime, he faced a great deal of backlash as the franchise's first leading Black actor. And while he felt there wasn't enough support by the studio at the time, it certainly seems like Kathleen Kennedy and company are trying to make things right moving forward.

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

In his same interview, John Boyega went on to emphasis the importance of the ongoing conversation about race in the entertainment industry. Campaigns like the #OscarsSoWhite have focused on the inequity regarding POC voices in the film world. And he hopes that more of these frank discussions can happen moving forward, particularly in massive franchises like Star Wars. As Boyega went on to say,

I think these kinds of conversations, you can go into the realm of sounding like you’re just trying to save your own career, but what is great now is that it is a conversation that anyone has access to. Now people can express themselves about this knowing that any character we love, especially in these big franchises like the Marvels and Star Wars, we love them because of the moments that they are given, we love them because of those moments, and they’re heroic moments that these producers all decide for these characters so we need to see that in our characters that are maybe Black and from other cultures.

While John Boyega doesn't currently have any plans to reprise his role as Finn in Star Wars, the actor/producer is still making an impact on the beloved franchise. And he wants to make sure that the cast/crew who make blockbusters are supported by the studio who they're collaborating with. After all, we've seen how backlash from moviegoers can negatively affect those in the public eye.

When it was released, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the subject of much backlash by the fandom. While director Rian Johnson continues to defend his movie's contents, Rose Tico actress Kelly Marie Tran faced a ton of hate online. And as a result she left social media altogether and ended up working with a therapist to help her cope emotionally with these attacks.

The Star Wars franchise continues to expand through Season of The Mandalorian. Be sure to 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. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.