It's no secret how the Star Wars sequels went through dramatic, creative changes since its original concept with Disney and Lucasfilms' original plan to have J. J. Abrams direct The Force Awakens (2015), Rian Johnson for The Last Jedi (2017), and Colin Trevorrow in what was supposed to be The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Unfortunately, Trevorrow parted ways from the project in 2017 with Abrams stepped back in to direct TRoS, but still has writing credit. With the creative changes also came a shift in priorities where the primary focus was originally supposed to be Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac), but Finn and Poe's stories almost became afterthoughts given the chaos during production. In post-franchise interviews, Ridley and Boyega talked publically about how things had to change mid-production from Rey's parents to drop the ball on POC character arcs like Finn and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). Boyega spoke to Yahoo about what could have been for Episode IX while promoting his upcoming television series Small Axe.
How Colin Trevorrow's The Rise of Skywalker Turned Out for Finn
In Trevorrow's original screenplay, Finn and Rose were to lead a class uprising on the galactic capital planet, Coruscant. Concept art showed Finn waving the rebellion's blue flag, surrounded by Rose, Poe, and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). "I think Colin Trevorrow was going to tell that story," Boyega says now, acknowledging that he's seen — and loved — the unused concept art for Duel of the Fates via Collider. "That image of Finn with the blue flag and you have the AT-ATs lined up with tribal marks, and the stormtroopers take off their helmets. That would have been sick! That would have been dope, man, hands down."
Boyega previously told GQ Disney should have done a better job with the POC characters in the Star Wars franchise. "I felt it was important for me to talk about a truth that is embarrassing to talk about," he said. "We all know that what makes roles so lucrative [are] the moments you give them. If Captain America isn't given the scenes to boost his representation and to make him enjoyable for you guys, we won't think he's cool. Why shouldn't Black characters and Black actors also fight for that same kind of representation? I think it's a done deal with that." The actor also came to terms battling fan toxicity during his time in the franchise. "No one ever assumes the right thing of you — they're always going to assume the most negative," he added. "If you're saying something like that, it's 'He's just trying to be prominent!' Yeah, because I'm trying to do what I was offered! I'm trying to fulfill my job."
While there are no plans scheduled to involve Finn for Boyega, he remains a Star Wars fan and even left the door open for future projects. "I'm a Mandalorian fan, so Lucasfilm is doing very well with the TV shows," he said, laughing. "An animated show would be dope! We could do it from home." Small Axe premieres on Amazon Prime Video on November 20.