John Boyega gave a really enlightening interview with GQ about his experience during and after Star Wars. He portrayed Finn, a former Stormtrooper who defected because of the horrors of the First Order. He was a major player in the first film in the sequel trilogy but was pushed aside by the end of it. While The Rise of Skywalker received a lot of backlash, Boyega said not to put the blame on director J.J. Abrams.
John Boyega wants people to leave J.J. Abrams alone about ‘The Rise of Skywalker’
In a recent article with GQ, Boyega opened up about the intense racism he’s faced since joining Star Wars. He also talked about how badly Finn was treated in regards to character development and his place within the narrative. But regardless of how people felt about the final installment, The Rise of Skywalker, Boyega said it wasn’t Abrams’ fault.
“Everybody needs to leave my boy alone,” Boyega said. “He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your sh*t.”
The article explained that this was in reference to the final movie, and said that Boyega saw Abrams’ involvement as a “relative salvage job.” That is in reference to The Last Jedi, which fell in between the two Abrams Star Wars films.
This also isn’t the first time that Boyega has defended The Rise of Skwaylker. IndieWire reported in April that Boyega tweeted at a user that called the movie “embarrassing.”
“Embarrassing? LOL you wish,” Boyega wrote. “Very fulfilling, some disappointments but yet not that big of a deal. Everyone has moved on.”
In the GQ interview, Boyega expressed the frustration he felt at how Disney/Lucasfilm handled Finn’s character; they didn’t know how to.
“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” he said. “You knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know f*ck all.”
Boyega has criticized ‘The Last Jedi’ in the past
Going back to the sequel trilogy discourse, Boyega has expressed his criticism of The Last Jedi in the past, directed by Rian Johnson.
“The Force Awakens I think was the beginning of something quite solid, The Last Jedi if I’m being honest I’d say that was feeling a bit iffy for me,” Boyega told Hypebeast. “I didn’t necessarily agree with a lot of the choices in that and that’s something that I spoke to Mark [Hamill] a lot about, and we had conversations about it. And it was hard for all of us, because we were separated.”
He later stated that he liked the “trio-feel” of the original trilogy, and wished he’d gotten more of that in this one.
“I do feel even after three films still, we don’t know them as much as we got to know Han, Luke, Leia,” he said. “And maybe that’s a great opportunity to get to know them a little bit more.”
Originally, Colin Trevorrow was supposed to write and direct the final Star Wars film, and his original script seemed to do a more cohesive job of bringing it all together. This included a way better arc for Finn. However, he left due to creative differences.
A lot of Finn’s initial importance was really thrown out after ‘The Force Awakens’
Finn has always been an important character, but it’s hard to look at all three films and see a cohesive storyline for him. And that’s essentially the point Boyega was making in the GQ article.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Finn has a defining moment right from the beginning. He is one of the Stormtroopers for the First Order. These Stormtroopers were brainwashed and trained from a very young age to fight for this fascist regime. The First Order isn’t much different from the Empire seen at the end of the prequels and in the original trilogy, but the way they raise their Stormtroopers is.
Finn develops a conscience and feels that what he’s doing is entirely wrong. And when he comes in contact with Kylo Ren in that first scene, Kylo senses something in him. He wasn’t paying enough attention to the firing Stormtroopers to realize Finn didn’t shoot, so that long glare could easily be attributed to Finn’s Force-sensitivity that we know exists, thanks to The Rise of Skywalker.
Along with the way Finn wields the lightsaber in the final battle, his relationship with the Force continued to be hinted at. However, it was completely thrown away until the very end of the final movie. Along with other issues, there’s more than a small case to be made for the mishandling of Boyega’s character.