Will John Boyega return as Finn?

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Finn (John Boyega)..Photo: Film Frames Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Finn (John Boyega)..Photo: Film Frames Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

Sometimes life is all about second chances. Taking the risk of trying something again to see if it’s better than the first time around. Sometimes, we do that with food and find that the thing that we used to hate is now something we enjoy or can at least tolerate.

This is something we have become accustomed to in the Star Wars universe. Actors from the Prequel era were treated so poorly by the fan base during the time of those movies. Think about the hate that actors like Hayden Christensen and Ahmed Best received just for doing the job they were hired to do. Hayden was heavily criticized, and Ahmed was bullied by people who call themselves fans to the point where he considered ending his life.

Most recently, we have seen that the flames of racism have kicked up against our beloved galaxy far, far away. Kelly Marie Tran, Moses Ingram, and even John Boyega have experienced this issue from those who call themselves fans. So much so, Boyega called out the issue and stepped away from our fandom for some time, receiving backlash.

How do we bring those actors back into our fandom to let them know we welcome them? Hayden and Ahmed recently made new appearances in the franchise and were welcomed with open arms. The time is now for bringing back Kelly, Moses, and John. Our fandom is simply just too great to allow hate based on one’s race, religion, or creed at any level.

John Boyega sat down with GQ magazine and shared some comments and feelings that are very saddening to read about his time in Star Wars. He said about his time in his movie trilogy:

"“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.”"

And the veracity of those racist comments grew after Boyega spoke out at a Black Lives Matter rally in London back in 2020, when he said, “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something.” Boyega was unsure how they would affect his career moving forward.

He also had words for Disney about their handling of his character Finn, or FN-2187, he said “What I say to Disney is do not market a black character as important and then push them aside” Honestly, many Star Wars fans feel the same way. Finn was, in his own words, “a big deal” only to become a background character in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. After his appearance in The Force Awakens, many felt, myself included, that Finn was going to play a major role moving forward. Was he going to be a Jedi? Was he at least force sensitive? The answers were never given and his character became an afterthought.

It is easy to see the frustration that someone would have with Star Wars, even if you only look at it as an actor. He was sold a bill of goods, so to speak. Come do this gig, and you’re going to be “this” … he didn’t get “this”, he got “that”. Add to that level of frustration, racial blowback that I as a white male have never had to experience, and cannot even fathom, and I would only be able to assume that the level of pain would be staggering.

Even more so, it would be understandable why someone would avoid that same situation. Put yourself in those shoes. You were hired to do a job, you did your job as written and directed, and you receive death threats because people hate the color of your skin or the character you played. That’s exactly what John Boyega endured. Hate without a valid reason.

Yet, John Boyega is rumored to be considering a return to Star Wars. He been quoted as saying, “open to all opportunities”, when asked about a possible return to the galaxy far, far away.

What will it take to get Boyega back in uniform? He goes on to say, “But I’m open to all characters and scripts that are enjoyable, have a great cast attached, and a terrific director.” And not to put words in his mouth, but give his character some depth! If he were to reappear in the upcoming Rey movie, which would make complete and total sense, develop Finn. Don’t just let him be the sidekick. Even Robin grew up in the DC Comics Universe to become Nightwing. What can we do with Finn in the upcoming movie to let this Robin become our Nightwing? Answer the questions – is he force sensitive? Is he to be a Jedi? Is a he a “big deal” in the rebellion forces after the fall of the New Order? There is quite nearly a blank slate to work with when it comes to this character. Fill it in! Give him the depth and story he deserves. Finn should be an amazing headlining character.

And as for us, the fans. It’s time to do all we can to drown out the hate. Raise our voices in solidarity with those who have been shown such baseless hate. Show support to actors like Kelly Marie Tran, Moses Ingram, John Boyega and others who have been hated for nothing more than not being a white male. Dislike the character they play all you want, but that’s where it must stop. Put yourselves in their shoes, would you want someone to talk to you the way others have talked about them? It’s not that they cannot fight for themselves, but sometimes it’s just nice to know that you have support and that someone else cares.

Let’s all follow the words of warning from Master Yoda “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering”  It really is just that simple …