/ / 8:00 am Fri John Boyega opens up about racism and STAR WARS in a GQ Interview .
Actor John Boyega — he played Finn in the most recent Star Wars trilogy — is the feature of this month’s GQ cover story.
There are lots of great insights and anecdotes throughout the lengthy interview.
Especially as Boyega discusses his diasporic experiences in Nigeria
his mental health, Black fashion, and shifting perspectives of racism that form in hindsight; it’s all worth reading.
But the parts that have received the most attention — naturally, .
And understandably — had to do with Star Wars
“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 .” He is talking about himself here – about the character of Finn, the former Stormtrooper who wielded a lightsaber in the first film before being somewhat nudged to the periphery.
But he is also talking about other people of colour in the cast – Naomi Ackie and Kelly Marie Tran and even Oscar Isaac (“a brother from Guatemala”) – who he feels suffered the same treatment; he is acknowledging that some people will say he’s “crazy” or “making it up”, but the reordered character hierarchy of The Last Jedi was particularly hard to take.
“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” he says.
“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 fuck 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.
I’m not exposing anything.” Boyega does defend JJ Abrams (“Everybody needs to leave my boy alone.
He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your shit”), and seemed to be particularly frustrated with his experience on The Last Jedi .
I’ve always defended that movie as a brilliant love letter de construction of the Star Wars saga, but Boyega’s experiences are valid and real — and even the movie’s most ardent defenders will likely acknowledge that Finn had the most disappointing and sidelined story arc.
I’ll admit, I hadn’t considered how much race may have played into that, .
Regardless of whether it came down from Disney or from Rian Johnson
Boyega’s other Star Wars comments in the interview , however, are something I was more aware of.
But I think it’s important that he acknowledges the issue as bluntly and directly as he does: “I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race,” he says, holding my gaze.
“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.
Because you realise, ‘I got given this opportunity but I’m in an industry that wasn’t even ready for me.’ Nobody else in the cast had people saying they were going to boycott the movie because [they were in it].
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.’ Nobody else had that experience.
But yet people are surprised that I’m this way
That’s my frustration.” Star Wars is such an important cultural myth that I think it’s particularly important that we reflect on Boyega’s experience.
Once you’ve done that, I think it’s even more important to read the rest of the interview, .
And take in the full picture of a life experience that Boyega paints with his words
John Boyega: ‘I’m the only cast member whose experience of Star Wars was based on their race’ [Jimi Famurewa / GQ] SHARE / TWEET / 43 COMMENTS.
/ john boyega / / star wars.
GET THE BOING BOING NEWSLETTER LEGO is making a new STAR WARS Holiday Special.
USA Today reports: Premiering Nov.
17 on the Disney+ streaming service.
“The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special” brings beloved heroes like Rey
Finn and Poe Dameron back together to celebrate Life Day, the “Star Wars”-y holiday introduced way back in the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special” that first aired on CBS Nov.
The […] READ THE REST.
A young Harrison Ford stars in Solo: A Star Wars Story
What if Solo: A Star Wars Story starred a young Harrison Ford
It would make perfect sense in a timeline where Ewan McGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope: READ THE REST.
Drive-in movie snack bar commercial inspired by Star Wars (1979)
If I was at a drive-in movie in 1979 and this commercial for the snack bar played, I’d have secretly wished it was the actual film we were there to see.
(via r/ObscureMedia) READ THE REST
Read the rules you agree to by using this website in our.
Read about what we do with the data we gather in our.
Who will be eaten first.
Our forum rules are detailed in the.
Boing Boing is published under except where otherwise noted.