Boyega’s Character Finn Trends After ‘Star Wars’ MLK Controversy

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finn star wars

Credit: Lucasfilm

On Monday, the official Star Wars Twitter account shared a post, like many other popular brands and franchises, marking the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

John Boyega Finn
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Disney Responds to ‘Star Wars’ Actor John Boyega’s Disappointment

Soon after the Tweet went live, however, controversy started in the comments. Over the course of the past several years, the creative team at Lucasfilm has taken heat from fans — and from actors like John Boyega — for sidelining certain characters, such as Boyega’s ex-stormtrooper Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, allegedly due to race.

Most of the controversy surrounded the divisive Skywalker Saga sequel trilogy — Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Although Boyega has had much to say on the topics of Star Wars, racist attitudes, and an occasionally toxic fandom — he’s even spoken to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy — one of his most widely-circulated comments came last year when he noted:

“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. You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything.”

finn star wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

Now, following the controversial Star Wars MLK Day post, Finn has begun trending on social media as fans share their thoughts about Boyega’s character, who was part of the sequel trilogy’s core trio alongside Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

Okiro — whose post now has over 100,000 likes — shared these thoughts, implying that the reason the story arc changed was, of course, British-born Boyega’s race:

John Boyega’s Finn was setup as the male lead and co-protagonist of the sequel trilogy. That’s not an opinion, that’s not a headcanon, that’s a literally [sic: literal] fact. 

He was set up to be equal with Rey & Kylo’s foil and we all know why that changed. 

Related: Controversial Reylo Tops 2020 Fandom Relationship Rankings

In response to Okiro’s viral post, Twitter user Jed Lowrie’s Leg wrote:

Disney obviously wanted to be inclusive with the casting (which is good!!!) but they didn’t follow through with giving Boyega a big role and so basically they didn’t make anything better. Really frustrating to see such a talented actor get swept to the side so JJ Abrams…

Another Star Wars film fan, Nelson Productions wrote:

Finn was one of my favorite sequel characters until they ruined him and the last two movies. @JohnBoyega deserved better. He should have became [sic: become] a Jedi at the end

It’s worth noting that Finn is undergoing Jedi training under Rey’s tutelage in the Disney+ LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020).  It will be interesting to see if Lucasfilm ever alludes to this fact in any Star Wars canon live-action material down the road.

Another popular post, by Revans (king of unpopular opinions) — with nearly 60,000 likes — stated:

i don’t care what justifications people can give, finn was set up to be a stormtrooper turned jedi and both the fans and john boyega were robbed of that

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Writer Says He “Hated” ‘The Last Jedi,’ Retcons Entire Story

The Butters Hygienics Co. responded to Jojo’s Bizarre Tweets assertion that “Finn was more interesting than Kylo Ren” with:

Finn was John Boyega, the British Denzel and they played him. We deserved better. Thankfully we have Attack the Block.

For Boyega’s part, he has expressed that he doesn’t currently have plans to return to the Star Wars franchise — but that he would consider coming back if “Finn’s lost storyline” were restored in canon. The Star Wars actor has also expressed some interest in the James Bond franchise, but nothing has been confirmed on either of these fronts.

Most recently, Boyega — who was heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter movement in London last year and even gave an impassioned speech — appeared in the mini-series Small Axe (2020) and he has several film projects — Naked Singularity, They Cloned Tyrone, The Test, Rebel Ridge, and Borderland — in the works according to IMDb.

Visit Twitter if you want to see more trending news about John Boyega and his Star Wars sequel trilogy character, Finn.

What are your thoughts? Would you like to see Finn come back to Star Wars in some fashion and get his chance at some new heroic moments

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