John Boyega claims that seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Moses Ingram “protected” from racism makes him feel the same way.
“It fulfils my time where I didn’t get support,” the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor says.
Although no two days are the same in the godforsaken hellscape of any Star Wars offshoot fandom, they frequently share an unfortunate joining factor: the proclivity to dismiss the entirety of Afro-futurism and complain about how Black people can’t possibly belong in the same world as Jar Jar Binks. John Boyega, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor who played Finn, the first Black stormtrooper, is all too familiar with these trials. In a new interview, he says that seeing other Black stars, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Moses Ingram, receive stalwart protection in the face of racist harassment makes him proud, rather than jealous or jaded.
“It doesn’t make me bitter in the least.” It makes me feel like you’re that guy at times, and my father taught me that. “You’re not always the guy who gets the blessing, and sometimes you’re Moses,” Boyega explains. “You lead the people to the mountain, but you know where they’re going.” You don’t get in, but you can get others in. And that is where you find happiness.”
Like Boyega’s role as Finn (or Kelly Marie Tran’s role as Rose Tico, or Krystina Arielle’s role as someone who hosts a Star Wars show where she shares her opinions), Ingram’s role on Obi-Wan as lead antagonist Inquisitor Reva exposed her to a barrage of racist comments, some of which she revealed on Instagram. Although Boyega famously stated that Disney knows “fuck all” about how to handle characters of colour, he is also willing to account for change. Boyega says that seeing the studio and higher-up white costars like Ewan McGregor stand up for Ingram now, despite his own failures in the past, “fulfils” him.
“Seeing Moses Ingram protected makes me feel safe,” he says. “It makes me think, ‘OK, cool.'” ‘I am not the room’s elephant.’ Because it wasn’t really a topic you could bring up when I first started. It was almost as if they were saying, “Let’s just be silent…” But now, seeing how obvious it is, seeing Ewan McGregor come and support… for me, [it] fulfils a time when I didn’t get support.”