First Look At John Boyega In Follow-Up Role To Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

star wars rise of skywalker john boyega as finn

After years of being in the spotlight (for better or worse) for his performances as Finn in the Star Wars franchise's latter sequel trilogy, actor John Boyega is promoting a project that isn't from a galaxy far, far away, but from somewhere much closer to home. Boyega will next be seen in the TV drama anthology Small Axe, which will focus on racially charged stories set in London's West Indian community. Definitely not the kind of series where lightsabers and Sith lords would feel normalized, but Boyega will serve as a real-world hero, and now we have our first look.

To promote the upcoming anthology series Small Axe, which hails from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, John Boyega took to Instagram to give fans a first look at his Star Wars follow-up, which you can check out below.

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While it perhaps might not be as exciting or as eye-popping as a first look at Star Wars' Finn, John Boyega certainly pulls off this more regal and respectable look that certainly would have drawn Rey and Poe's attention. Boyega will be seen in Small Axe for the episode "Red, White and Blue" as he portrays the now-retired Metropolitan Police officer Leroy Logan. After seeing his own father getting assaulted by police, Logan attempted to make changes from within the police force, and got results for his actions.

Small Axe's extended five episodes will focus on London's West Indian community and its African-Caribbean population, and the social struggles that occurred from the 1960s through the 1980s. Thus, viewers will likely see Leroy Logan's struggles to introduce changes, as opposed to seeing all the fruits of his labor. In 2001, Logan was awarded the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 for helping institute anti-racist policies within the police force. He put in 30 years on the job, retiring in 2013 as a Superintendent, but is still very much staying in the fight for equality.

Within the "Red, White and Blue" episode, John Boyega will co-star with Stephen Boxer, Jim Sturgeon, Ciarán Owens, Joy Richardson and more. Other episodes from Small Axe include "Mangrove" and "Lovers Rock," both of which were submitted for the Cannes Film Festival in June; the remaining two installments include "Alex Wheatle" and "Education."

John Boyega has quite a few projects on the horizon, though it's unclear when all of them will be getting made, thanks to production delays all across the board. One film that did finish filming is the crime drama Naked Singularity from Chase Palmer, which will co-star Bill Skarsgård, Tim Blake Nelson, Ed Skrein and Olivia Cooke. And one that fans will no doubt hope gets underway soon is the action-thriller Borderland, in which Boyega would co-star with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Felicity Jones.

Here's hoping that people really tune into Small Axe and John Boyega's other upcoming projects, seeing as how the actor has little interesting in continuing with the Star Wars universe. While his initially comments on the matter seemed to be throwing shade at the franchise, Boyega later clarified that he just wanted to take on other kinds of roles in this career. And if one of those roles happens to be in an Attack the Block sequel, so be it.

It's not clear just yet when Small Axe will be hitting Amazon and the BBC, but viewers can expect to see it premiering later in 2020. While waiting, be sure to check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what else is popping up on the small screen in the coming months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.