The latest piece of concept art from Colin Trevorrow’s cancelled Star Wars film is perfectly timed: Finn (John Boyega) leads a ragtag group of rebels against the First Order — and of course, it comes (from Collider’s Steven Weintraub) on the same day Boyega himself spoke at a Black Lives Matter event in London and inspired the crowd, saying that he wasn’t sure what doing so would mean for his career. Ultimately, it looks like it won’t hurt him much, as Lucasfilm and Disney both stood behind his comments. Boyega, who has recently decided to use his position as a Star Wars actor to help advance causes for positive social change, has been prasied by fans, costars, and more for his comments in London.
Trevorrow’s version of Star Wars Episode IX, titled “Duel of the Fates,” has attracted a lot of attention from fans and critics given the lukewarm reception of The Rise of Skywalker. The film would have been radically different from what ultimately made it to theaters.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important,” Boyega said in a speech today. “We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”
You can check the concept art out below.
Boyega has crafted a public persona post-Star Wars that says, essentially, that he won’t toe the company line for the rest of his life just because he was Finn. In interviews, he has been critical of some aspects of the films, and when recently commenting on social justice, mocked a fan who complained about his language, justifying it by citing kids who might follow a Star Wars actor on social media.
“Thank you for coming out today. Thank you for being here to show your support to us,” Boyega told supporters in another speech outside of London’s parliament building. “Black people, I love you. I appreciate you. Today is an important day. We are fighting for our rights. We are fighting for our ability to live in freedom. We are fighting for our ability to achieve. We are fighting for our life to be of quality. Today, you are a physical representation of that.”
Boyega has earned the support of the studios as well as Star Wars icon Mark Hamill, who said, “Never been more proud of you, John.” His Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson added, “Love this man.”
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