John Boyega slams Disney for sidelining black ‘Star Wars’ character – New York Post

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Film critics deemed it a cinematic milestone when Disney cast John Boyega as “Star Wars’ ” first-ever black Stormtrooper in 2014’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” However, in a new interview with British GQ,  the British-Nigerian actor claimed that his character still played second fiddle to his white co-stars.

“They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley,” said Boyega, 28, who portrayed Stormtrooper-turned-Jedi Finn in “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker.”

He says his on-screen sidelining came despite the fact that Disney billed his character as crucial to the plot.  “[But] what 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,” the “Pacific Rim: Uprising” actor fumed. “It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”

Indeed, compared to “The Force Awakens,” Boyega’s role in the two sequels — “The Last Jedi” in 2017 and “The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019 — was noticeably diminished with many Star Warriors observing that the Jedi became little more than a lackey to Ridley’s Rey, Newsweek reports.

During the fiery segment, Boyega brought up the vitriol he received from racist “Star Wars” fans over his landmark role.

“I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race,” said Boyega, who memorably spoke at a Black Lives Matter rally in London in June. He added: “Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, ‘Black this and black that’ and ‘You shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper.’ ”

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Read the full feature in the October issue of British GQ, available via digital download and on newsstands Friday, September 4.

Danny Kasirye

jb1

Read the full feature in the October issue of British GQ, available via digital download and on newsstands Friday, September 4.

Danny Kasirye

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He continued, “Let’s just leave it like that. It makes you angry with a process like that. It makes you much more militant; it changes you.”

However it wasn’t just Boyega that was given short shrift on-screen. He claims he felt that Vietnamese actor Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker,” also took a backseat to Driver and Ridley.

“‘Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” lamented Boyega, adding that when it came him and Tran, it was like “f - - k y’all.”

Tran, who was the first woman of color to have a lead role in a “Star Wars” film, memorably exited social media in 2018 after suffering harassment from online trolls.

“‘So what do you want me to say?” said Boyega. “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.”

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