John Boyega Says His Star Wars Character Was 'Pushed to the Side' by Disney: 'It's Not Good'
John Boyega starred as Finn in the latest Star Wars trilogy
John Boyega is speaking candidly about feeling "pushed to the side" in the Star Wars franchise after making his debut in 2015's The Force Awakens.
In an interview with British GQ, Boyega criticizes Disney, the studio behind the franchise, for his character Finn's arc in the series.
“It’s so difficult to maneuver," Boyega, 28, said of how he reflects on his time making Star Wars. “You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [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. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
PEOPLE is out to Disney for comment.
Boyega made his final appearance as Finn in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, in which Daisy Ridley's Rey and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren get hero sendoffs as Rey saves the galaxy and Kylo eschews his villainous alter ego to become Ben Solo again. The actor also mentioned Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose, the first major Asian character in the franchise, introduced in 2017's The Last Jedi.
“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” he said of the franchise. “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--- all. So what do you want me to say? 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. They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything.”
The Rise of Skywalker writer Chris Terrio, who co-wrote the movie with director J.J. Abrams, previously explained Tran's lack of screen in the sequel.
“One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie Fisher’s footage in the way we wanted to,” Terrio told Awards Daily. “We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together … As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for. Those scenes, unfortunately, fell out of the film.”
Terrio added: “The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly — so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”
The late Fisher died before filming started on the third movie, which wrapped up her long-running arc as Leia Organa. Director Abrams and the crew instead used footage shot for previous films to make her character come to life one more time on screen.