Former Star Wars actor John Boyega, who portrayed the character Finn in Disney’s much-maligned sequel trilogy, recently voiced his disappointment with how the character of Luke Skywalker was handled. Boyega appears to be late to the party, as the overwhelming majority of Star Wars fans, including actor Mark Hamill himself, have expressed similar feelings.
Boyega participated in an interview in Vanity Fair where he discussed nostalgia as a major driving factor in the initial fan excitement surrounding the sequel trilogy. The actual story, however, was anything like what fans were expecting, or hoping for.
“I’ll always have some level of nostalgia [for The Force Awakens]. To a certain extent, there should have been a Stormtrooper rebellion. And then to flesh out Luke’s character a bit more. Give him more moments of redemption, which I feel like was needed after VIII [The Last Jedi].” the actor began.
He then pointed out the gravest and most unforgivable flaw of the sequel trilogy – the manner in which the original characters were handled. “I feel like Star Wars fans needed more time with [the old characters] that we love so much.”
Troubles began brewing for the J.J. Abrams-led Star Wars trilogy when fans were forced to wait until the final seconds of The Force Awakens for fan favorite Luke Skywalker to make an appearance. This, hot on the heels of beloved nerf-herder Han Solo being murdered by his own son.
That single combination ended up ruining any chance fans had to see their favorite characters united on screen again. It wouldn’t be until the second film in the trilogy where Luke and Leia were reacquainted again, which was handled poorly, and led to the former dying in the final act.
Boyega’s own troubles with Star Wars began a few years ago when he began throwing direct shade at LucasFilm and Disney over the manner in which his character was handled. At one point, Boyega even agreed with a fan on Twitter who suggested that Disney should be embarrassed by the final film in the trilogy – The Rise Of Skywalker.
Things got worse from there. Only a few months later, Boyega sent a scathing rebuke to Disney during an interview with GQ, where we said “…you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver. 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 f*** all. So what do you want me to say?”
He continued the rant by claiming “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. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything.”
Later, in January of 2021, Boyega described his work on franchises like Star Wars as working in a “luxury jail.”
While Boyega insists that he’s still a diehard Star Wars fan, it’s clear that he has no love for Disney’s sequel trilogy storyline. The actor claimed that he’s actively watching Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian, but it’s hard to believe he’s fully buried the hatchet with Disney and LucasFilm, even if reports claim otherwise.
Disney has been attempting to rectify the damage inflicted on classic characters by the sequel trilogy via indirect ways. Luke Skywalker made a triumphant return at the end of The Mandalorian’s second season, and would go on to play a role in The Book of Boba Fett. Not all fans are happy with the results, but that’s not surprising.
Boyega’s sentiment towards the handling of Luke Skywalker, his own character, and the sequel trilogy as a whole is shared by the majority of fans at this point. There’s a reason why Disney hasn’t even bothered to revisit the catastrophic future timeline they’ve created, remaining cemented in pre and post-Return of the Jedi eras.
The recent failure of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and the less-than-stellar reception to the upcoming Woke property Star Wars: Andor has essentially put the franchise on life support at this point. A large part of that can be directly attributed to the overt, purposeful mishandling and abuse of characters from the original trilogy.
John Boyega knows it, Star Wars fan know it, and it’s a guarantee that LucasFilm knows it.