"Star Wars" actor John Boyega brilliantly shuts down black-stormtrooper critics

Boyega is the first face of the newest installment in the "Star Wars" franchise

Published December 1, 2014 4:46PM (EST)

 John Boyega in "Star Wars" teaser    (Star Wars)
John Boyega in "Star Wars" teaser (Star Wars)

"Star Wars" fans got a glimpse of "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" in a teaser released on Nov. 28, 2014. Along with the chill-inducing John Williams score, and seeing the Millennium Falcon soar through the air, the first face of the new film is that of actor John Boyega ("Attack the Block") in the iconic stormtrooper outfit.

Boyega's appearance sparked online chatter due to the fact that he is the first black stormtrooper that we've seen on-screen. Sadly, some of that chatter was negative, and rather despicable. (There's still a raging comment war at the YouTube video.)

Stormtroopers, some fans are arguing, are clones of a white bounty hunger Jango Fett. Of course, others are pointing out that eventually the ranks of stormtroopers were made up of recruits rather than clones. (There were also female stormtroopers.) Others are just calling the criticism out for what it is, thinly veiled racism:

[embedtweet id="539356444420997120"]

[embedtweet id="538445155448406016"]

But the best response came from Boyega himself, who posted the following text to his Instagram account:

"Thank you for all the love and support! The fan mail and fan art has added to my joy! Isn't it crazy that Star Wars is actually happening? I'm in the movie but as a star wars fan I am very excited! A year is a long time but it will be worth the wait.

"To whom it may concern...
Get used to it. :)" 

With love xxx

A photo posted by @jboyega on


By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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