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John Boyega on playing a black Stormtrooper: The backlash was 'unnecessary'

‘I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it? You either enjoy it or you don’t.’

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A few months out from the highly anticipated release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we still don’t know much about plot details. We’ve seen John Boyega’s Finn in trailers but don’t know much about him — not even his last name. One of the few things we do know is that he arrives on the desert planet of Jakku wearing a Stormtrooper outfit. But that alone was enough to rile up some fans — some of whom cling to the gospel that all the Stormtroopers must be white-skinned clones.

In a new interview with V MagazineBoyega once again addressed those prejudices. “[That negative reaction] was unnecessary,” he said. “I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it? You either enjoy it or you don’t. I’m not saying get used to the future, but what is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense.”

Boyega noted that his previous films, Attack the Block and Half of a Yellow Sun, have helped break down racial and genre barriers in pop culture. Attack the Block, for instance, sets an alien invasion film in south London.

“All the films I’ve done have had a secret commentary on stereotypical mentalities,” Boyega said. “It’s about getting people to drop a prejudiced state of mind and realize, ‘Oh sh-t we’re just watching normal people.’”

For more, head over to VThe Force Awakens is out Dec. 18.