The reaction from fans to the Star Wars sequel trilogy is a mixed bag, to say the least, as some consider certain installments the best in Star Wars storytelling while others think these films represent the worst of the franchise, with star John Boyega's feelings about the experience being just as mixed as fans'. During a recent interview with GQ UK, the actor detailed his disappointments with Star Wars: The Last Jedi shifting focus away from his Finn to make his journey more supporting in nature after Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its marketing campaign was positioning him to be the driving force of the narrative.
“It’s so difficult to maneuver,” Boyega shared with the outlet. “You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [But] what I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
Despite fans attempting to place the blame on anyone who they see fit, it's unclear what motivated Finn's shift towards being an ancillary character. While some audiences will surely blame The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, the notion of a marketing campaign teasing one thing only for the film to reveal another is often a signature of Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. It's also possible that Lucasfilm execs were the ones making these decisions to some degree, though Boyega merely calls out Disney as being responsible for these decisions.
With early promotional materials focusing on Finn wielding a lightsaber, only to briefly hold the weapon until Rey embraced her destiny as a Jedi, it's hard to deny the intentional misdirect from Disney. Boyega went on to detail the difficulties of his character being sidelined as Rey and Kylo Ren took prominence throughout the overall trilogy.
“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” the actor added. “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-ck all. So what do you want me to say? 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.”
He also pointed out how Finn replicated a number of stereotypes for Black characters in blockbusters, pointing out, "They’re always scared. They’re always fricking sweating."0comments
While some fans have held out hope that Boyega could return to the galaxy far, far away to reprise his role as Finn, these concerns from the actor make that seem quite unlikely, unless Lucasfilm makes some radical changes to their approach to the character.