After publicly calling out Lucasfilm for failing its POC Star Wars character, John Boyega has been an advocate for better representation on screen that goes beyond the standard practice of just putting diverse characters on the posters then failing to give them meaningful moments. So it’s notable that Boyega felt the need to express his admiration for the great job Marvel did elevating Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
In a new interview, Boyega dives into how the problem with representation is that “the characters are only as good as the moments that you give them.” In his experience with Star Wars, those moments were repeatedly missing, so he was happy to see Disney get things right with Falcon. Via NPR:
When we talk about, you know, Captain America and him kind of facing off Thanos and his army, when you talk about these moments that are given to characters, it’s only because these moments are written by somebody. These moments are put in there on purpose to elevate characters.
We’ve got people now watching “Falcon And The Winter Soldier,” and a lot of people have been commenting about the elevation of Falcon’s character – right? – in the series and how they’ve really done well with bringing him up, which I also agree as well. You know, and we can see there is – that’s because you give characters these special moments, you know.
As Boyega told British GQ back in September 2020, Star Wars characters like Finn and Rose were short-changed while all of the “nuance” went to the white leads. “[You] knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver, you knew what to do with these other people,” Boyega said. “But when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know f*ck all.”