John Boyega is one of the few Star Wars main actors who is still on social media. And a while ago he promised fans that he would absolutely speak his mind once all is said and done. It seems John is beginning to make good on his promise, because in a lengthy interview with Hypebeast he not only talks about his various upcoming projects, but also how he feels about Star Wars. So click through for a few quotes. It’s certainly always interesting to hear what one of the main actors thinks of the sequels (so far).
About The Last Jedi, John has to say this:
Finn’s character arc in this new Star Wars trilogy has tracked his journey to break away from the conformity of the First Order Stormtroopers and discover his own identity. However, the follow-up film The Last Jedi sidetracked that character progression, much to the chagrin of fans and Boyega himself.
“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 says. “I didn’t necessarily agree with a lot of the choices in that and that’s something that 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.”
And about the general themes of Star Wars:
Like many fans online, Boyega believes in the themes previously established within the Star Wars franchise, rather than the focus on the realism introduced in The Last Jedi, and would only return to the character if the future story encapsulated those classic characteristics.
“The banter, the bickering, the undercover romances that then manifest an epic moment. That for me is Star Wars. It’s not hyperreal or realistic or grounded. Don’t do any of that. It’s like connection, family, friendship. If they’re going to do it in that direction, then absolutely.”
John also has a few thoughts about the characters:
“I guess the original Star Wars films there was much more of a trio feel where it was essentially about Luke’s journey, but Han and Leia there was a strong dynamic, which I think, I don’t know how quickly we’re going to be able to establish that longterm dynamic with [Episode] Nine. But if it’s exploring that dynamic, then that would be cool,” he notes. “I do feel even after three films still, we don’t know them as much as we got to know Han, Luke, Leia. And maybe that’s a great opportunity to get to know them a little bit more.”
John also talks about fandom (how most actual fans are very civil and that only on Twitter it can become a bit toxic from time to time) and we learn a lot more about his various upcoming projects, none of which seem to involve Disney. Which probably means John feels he can speak his mind without fearing any actual repercussions should the Mouse not like his candor all that much.
It’s certainly interesting to hear that yet another principal actor shares some of the criticism voiced by fans. Anthony Daniels felt he was a table decoration, Daisy Ridley just revealed she found it upsetting that Luke was not her father figure in The Last Jedi (however, that can be interpreted in a number of ways).
This interview, and many other articles in the past few months, have slowly shifted the narrative, away from “toxic this” and “toxic that” and actually adressed issues critics of the movie(s) had, and have acknowledged that most fans are not toxic, that it’s only a small minority that engages in actual hateful behavior. Which must not be tolerated at all, but to make it that huge of a deal is also misrepresenting fandom.
Another question is if Disney will be all too happy about this rather candid interview that more or less says what critics of the sequels have said in the past few years, that The Last Jedi sidetracked or mishandled the characters, that we hardly know the characters (or even the factions like the First Order and Resistance) at all, even after two movies.
What do you think about John’s statements? It’s certainly not surprising that he felt a bit “iffy” about The Last Jedi, considering how the movie treated his character. Maybe The Rise of Skywalker can rectify this. But John doesn’t seem to know that yet, so he has certainly not seen the final cut of the movie. We will all find out next week!
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