John Boyega made waves in the Star Wars franchise as the first Black storm trooper-turned Resistance warrior in The Force Awakens trilogy. But as the actor revealed in a recent interview, that’s the last we’ll be seeing of his character Finn.
“At this point, I’m cool off it. I’m good off it,” Boyega told Sirius XM’s John Fugelsang during an interview on his radio show. Despite Disney’s recent push for new series and movies centering on franchise characters, the actor says Episode IX is a good endpoint for Finn, who was notoriously pushed to the side in The Force Awakens narrative despite being teased as its new star in early films.
“I think to be fair, the allies that I’ve found within Joel Taylor, Jamie Foxx, Teonna Parris, Viola Davis, all these people I’ve been working with, versatility is my path,” he explained. “I think Finn is at a good confirmation point where you can just enjoy him in other things – the games, the animation. But I feel like [Episode] VII to [Episode] IX was good for me.”
Boyega also opened up on the recent racist backlash new franchise star Moses Ingram received upon the premiere of the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries on Disney+, which the actress boldly addressed head-on to the resounding support and protection of Disney. Though he recognizes that he was not privileged to have the same support when he went through his own challenge with racist trolls, he appreciates and feels validated by the way Ingram was upheld by the corporation.
“That’s how it goes. But that’s the peace that I felt,” Boyega explains. “Moses Ingram being protected makes me feel protected. It makes me feel like, ‘OK, cool. I am not the elephant in the room.’ Because when I started, it wasn’t really a conversation you could bring up.”
While the actor was discouraged from publicly addressing the online nastiness he experienced, Ingram was able to address the torment as unacceptable head-on. But instead of wondering why he wasn’t able to receive the same support from Disney, he’s fulfilled by the fact that it’s a possibility today.
“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. Sometimes you are Moses, you know. You lead the people to the mountain, and you see the destination, buy you don’t get to go in. You get others to go in. And that’s where you get your happiness from.”
“What the conversation does, and for me, it’s so positive, it gives other actors the ability to say ‘look, I’m not comfortable with this,’ or ‘this is what’s happening, and this is the kind of support I need.’ That, for me, is what I wanted out of everything,” he said.
“I want a Black actor to be able to walk into a room, whenever they feel some type of way, and they can go to the studio head and say ‘this is how I feel, this is the support I need,’ and it won’t be a weird conversation. Me knowing that? I’m cool.”