Editor’s note: this interview took place prior to the actors strike, which began on July 14.
John Boyega has revealed that he’s “open” to making a return to the Star Wars universe – but only if the project is the right fit for him.
In an exclusive TechRadar interview to promote his new Netflix movie They Cloned Tyrone, Boyega confirmed that he hasn’t fully closed the door on appearing in a future Star Wars film. However, he suggested it would have to be the right time for Finn, the character he played in the franchise’s sequel film trilogy, to show up.
Boyega’s Star Wars future has been a hot topic of discussion since he criticized the decision to sideline ethnic minority characters as the sequel trilogy progressed. In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Boyega’s Finn played a big role in how its story played out. However, in Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX, Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico – to name just two characters – were moved to the periphery in favor of the franchise’s white characters, such as Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren.
In a lengthy GQ interview in September 2020, Boyega also hit out at certain sections of Star Wars’ fanbase for racially abusing him and Tran. At the time, Boyega said: “I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race. 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.”
In the near-three-year period since that interview, Boyega has made peace with his experience as a Black actor in Star Wars. It’s unclear what the future holds for Finn in Lucasfilm’s iconic universe, but there is growing speculation that we could see him again in a future Star Wars film.
Asked if he was interested in returning to that galaxy far, far away, Boyega told me: “That [those comments] was a few years ago, so they were the subject of that particular project. But I’m open to all characters and scripts that are enjoyable, have a great cast attached, and a terrific director. So yeah, I’m open to all opportunities.”
Boyega’s comments come as speculation swirls that Finn could play a supporting role in one of four upcoming Star Wars films. One such flick, which is centered around Rey, appears to be the most likely candidate. After all, Finn and Rey formed a strong partnership in The Force Awakens, and many fans would love to see the duo reunite for another adventure.
According to an April 2023 edition of The Hot Mic podcast starring John Rocha and Jeff Sneider, Lucasfilm executives have reportedly talked about installing Boyega’s Finn as co-lead alongside Ridley’s Rey. That comes after supposed talks between Boyega and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who have “buried the hatchet” over Boyega’s previous quotes.
Understandably, fans should take that rumor with a giant pinch of salt, and wait for Lucasfilm to make an official casting announcement. Given that Boyega is “open” to returning to the series that turned him into a household name, though, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see Finn appear in a future Star Wars project. Here’s hoping I’m right.
For more Star Wars-based coverage, read up on how to watch the Star Wars movies in order and see which of the franchise’s TV series made it onto our best Disney Plus shows list.
As for They Cloned Tyrone, find out why it could be the unusual sci-fi comedy movie Netflix needs right now before it debuts on one of the best streaming services on Friday, July 21. Be sure to check back with TechRadar before launch day, too, for an exclusive, in-depth chat with Boyega about the pulpy and subversive multi-genre film.