The press tour for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been a bit of a mess over the last week or so. Nearly every interview with director J.J. Abrams and the cast of the movie has somehow turned into a conversation about the previous film in the trilogy, Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It's no secret that the Internet is seemingly split in half on the movie, with some of the more negative people out there turning their hatred of the material to harassment of the cast and crew. The issue hasn't really been helped by this press tour, as some of the stars of Rise of Skywalker have seemingly thrown Johnson and The Last Jedi under the bus.
In addition to comments about the previous film, it seemed earlier this week that John Boyega also criticized co-star Kelly Marie Tran for quitting social media after The Last Jedi. Tran was the subject of targeted harassment, both sexual and racial, because some people didn't like her role in the film and took things entirely too far. During an interview, Boyega said that you would have to be "weak" in order to let things on social media bother, a comment that many believed was directed at Tran. However, according to Boyega, that couldn't be further from the truth.
"Being in this position, you just understand the masses, how the masses think, you know," Boyega told Variety this week. "Through social media, we get to engage, we get to have fun. But at the same time, for those who are not mentally strong, you are weak to believe in every single thing that you read. That’s, you know, it is what it is. I don’t know, for me anyway, when I see that [backlash], I’m like, well, that’s actually not true. But no, it is actually not true. So it’s kind of like [shrugs] it is what it is. But to engage, to connect with the fans who otherwise wouldn’t get a day to day experience, especially during things like the press tour, and behind the scenes stuff, is always good."
On Thursday morning, Boyega clarified his comments on Twitter, saying that he was talking about himself and his issues with social media, not Tran.
"In no way was I referring to Kelly when I made my comments although the interviewer mentioned her given the topic," Boyega wrote in the tweet. "I was really speaking from my own perspective throughout this franchise. Sometimes I've felt strong and sometimes I've felt weak. Badly worked through. I apologize."
In no way was I referring to Kelly when I made my comments although the interviewer mentioned her given the topic. I was really speaking from my own perspective throughout this franchise. Sometimes I’ve felt strong and sometimes I’ve felt weak. Badly worded though. I apologize.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) December 12, 2019
Boyega and Tran's Star Wars characters, Finn and Rose, had the beginnings of a romantic storyline throughout The Last Jedi. It's unclear if that will continue in The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20th.