The sequel trilogy remains a sizzling topic of discussion in the Star Wars community nearly three years after its conclusion, in no small part due to the words of actor John Boyega. Having brought Finn to life in the first cycle of films under the Disney umbrella, Boyega has been critical of both the direction the story took and his experiences on set as his character's role deteriorated.
Such comments led to discussions with Disney executives and a phone call from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and for the time being all parties have seemingly buried the hatchet. With Finn's story currently finished after The Rise of Skywalker, Boyega has served as an ambassador for Star Wars. He continues to support the franchise's endeavors and recently voiced approval for the support Moses Ingram received following racist online comments in the lead-up to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Though much is forgiven, Boyega isn't without regrets - or designs of returning to the galaxy far, far away. Of late, the actor has been adamant that he won't be donning a Resistance uniform again, in large part because he feels Finn's story is finished. Boyega reaffirmed that position in a recent interview, and he shared some thoughts on places he'd liked to have seen the sequel trilogy go - most notably, with an iconic Jedi Master.
John Boyega Wanted More From Luke Skywalker
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Finn star John Boyega shared his thoughts on Star Wars' past and present.
The actor admitted The Force Awakens is his favorite of the sequel trilogy due to "nostalgia," and he expressed his desire for more from the stormtroopers and the need to "flesh out" Luke Skywalker:
“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]. I feel like Star Wars fans needed more time with [the old characters] that we love so much.”
A return to Star Wars for Boyega remains conditional, as the story would need to be perfect, but he also feels that Finn has been left in a place "on his path" and may not need to be involved in future projects:
“Script, yeah, yeah [laughs]. I used to say if the cast come back—Daisy and Oscar—then I’d be down for it. Not all Star Wars characters get the clean-cut ending that you want them to get. Creatively, Finn’s reached a point where I feel like we can leave him there, on his path, and do other things.”
Despite issues with Disney during the sequel trilogy's production, Boyega is "forever going to be a fan" of Star Wars, even if he's not involved:
“People always get shocked! Industry issues have nothing to do with Star Wars and me being a fan of it. I’ve been watching Obi-Wan, I’ve been watching The Mandalorian. I’m still forever going to be a fan of this franchise. As far as Finn is concerned? I’m good on that. I’ll be watching [if Ridley and Isaac were to star in a new trilogy]."
Luke Skywalker's Arc Remains an Issue
This isn't the first time Boyega has criticized The Last Jedi, and it likely won't be the last. Mark Hamill has been more than outspoken about the direction Rian Johnson took his legendary hero, and Daisy Ridley levied her own set of complaints about the story decisions for Episode VIII, as well. It's even worse when a federal court makes it official.
How Luke was handled certainly won't be something the fanbase gets over any time soon. The sequels - including The Last Jedi, in particular - have their pockets of ardent defenders, and legions of haters to refute the support. Nobody had a disgruntled ass in mind for Luke Skywalker when the sequels were announced in 2012, and the reception has varied by the person. Had Johnson allowed Luke to live at the end of Episode VIII or given him a grander ending, perhaps the pill wouldn't have been as tough to swallow for so many.
Boyega's point echos the sentiments of a large chunk of Star Wars fans. The mistake Luke made to put himself in his position was an egregious one, wildly out of character. Doubling down by sending the Jedi into hiding instead of looking to make things right made the situation worse (though Johnson's hands were slightly tied by The Force Awakens, in that regard). Luke did make an appearance to Kylo Ren to issue an apology, though he parted ways with his nephew by antagonizing him and making the situation worse.
If that's the road the creators felt inclined to take, there has to be a significant payoff. A projection dog and pony show to buy time isn't nearly enough when the next thing to happen is the most iconic hero in pop culture going out with a heart attack on a rock, surrounded by a bunch of water. The promise of seeing Kylo around was never fulfilled, either, but JJ Abrams can shoulder the blame for ignoring that massive detail.
There are ways to hand the baton off to a new generation that doesn't require completely butchering the old. A story that brought the original and sequel heroes together from the start for a task that required their combined skills would have been more universally appealing to audiences, and it wouldn't have afforded Johnson the opportunity to send Luke off the rails. In such a scenario, there'd be much happier cast and a chunk of fans that haven't turned their backs on the beloved franchise.
Is Boyega Really Done with Star Wars?
He says he's done, but is he? Is Boyega really not going to entertain the possibility of returning as Finn.
As he mentions, there was a time when he was the most willing of heroic triumvirate to return - but now he appears to be the only one against it. With time to reflect on the new trajectory of his career, it's understandable that Boyega is finished with the franchise for the time being. But he seemingly left the door creaked open in the event that an exceptional script lands on his desk, and that would be the requirement for his costars, too.
Finn's story is only complete insofar as the Resistance defeated the Final Order. The Rise of Skywalker also abruptly introduced a Force-sensitive plot line for the character that went unresolved, and one would imagine the actor would enjoy exploring that in great depth. It could be as Rey's first Jedi student (assuming she knows enough to be a teacher so soon), or Finn could even walk a different path with the Force while devoting himself to the New Republic, somewhat akin to Leia.
There are plenty of options on the table, and the best part is that the great story to be told is something none of the actors are aware of yet. Eventually, a filmmaker may sit down with Lucasfilm and present an idea that can't be passed up. With a decade or more separating the stars from the sequel trilogy, there may be a higher willingness from everyone to get back into George Lucas' world.
After all, Boyega is a Star Wars fan. How could he not?