On Wednesday, the Disney-owned franchise expressed support for the 28-year-old actor just hours after he delivered a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London. Boyega, who played Finn in three Star Wars installments, addressed his fellow protestors through a megaphone, speaking on the racial injustices the black community continues to face.
"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...today you guys are a visible representation of that," he said before speaking on the police killing of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. "I need you to understand how painful it is, to be reminded every day that your race means nothing. That is not the case anymore—we are a physical representation of our support of George Floyd. ... We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved. We don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved. But today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones."
The Star Wars official Twitter account posted several quotes from Boyega's speech and referred to him as a "hero."
"Lucasfilm stands with John Boyega and his message that, 'Now is the time. Black lives have always mattered. Black lives have always been important. Black lives have always meant something,'" read a statement posted on the Star Wars website. "The evil that is racism must stop. We will commit to being part of the change that is long overdue in the world. John Boyega, you are our hero.
Boyega received support from Jordan Peele, his Star Wars director J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, and more in showbiz—particularly in regards to Boyega questioning his career prospects after speaking out: