Despite reports to the contrary, Star Wars actor John Boyega is in no rush to reprise the role of Finn, the Stormtrooper who leaves the First Order to eventually join the Resistance, although he would be happy to voice a role in a spin-off animation.
Rumours of Boyega’s return to the legendary franchise were reported last month but these were way off the mark, he told Variety.
He explained how he was misinterpreted: “That was such a throwaway comment that they blew up… I’ve said it from the beginning with Daisy [Ridley] and Oscar [Isaac], I think I’d done a Q&A and we’re like, ‘Yeah, we’ll come and shoot some guns again.’ But at this moment versatility is the biggest thing for me right now.”
Boyega explained why Star Wars was easy to walk away from. “I enjoy what I do, so to stay in one place can be sometimes hard… You remember you’ve been in one role for so long.
“This time it would be great to get into a little animation, all I have to do is do them feed lines, zoom, make it work!” he laughed.
As soon as The Rise of Skywalker wrapped Boyega was off to explore other roles.
“I worked with Chase Palmer [in Naked Singularity, out soon] as soon as I finished on Star Wars 9… Then I worked with Steve McQueen [on Small Axe]. There are so many people I’d like to explore, [to have] versatility in roles, different characters, this is what I do.”
Boyega also discussed the issues with racism he suffered during his time in the Star Wars franchise, making the three movies. The racist backlash from some fans forced him to have serious discussions with the Disney “powers that be”, to help ensure other young actors of colour wouldn’t experience the same thing.
He said the experience had been a shocki and that t cast a shadow over an experience – starring in the franchise – that was meant to be a gift.
“I came through theatre in London, I was working in Kilburn, at the Tricycle Theatre, with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Karl Collins and then I went onto work on Attack the Block [2009 indie action comedy] , and I thought it was all alright. And then you get Star Wars and wow, the world is messed up. Because obviously Star Wars is different, it exposes you to the world. It surprises me, it’s crazy.
“I thought you had to do something, you had to be an a**hole [to get attacked].”
Boyega will appear in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe drama series, which premieres on BBC One on Sunday 15th November.