Star Wars: The Force Awakens – the John Boyega Storm Trooper Controversy


According to some, racism has again reared its ugly head in regards to Star Wars lore elements newly introduced by Episode 7. More precisely, what happened was that actor John Boyega was shown as a storm-trooper in The Force awakens teaser, and some of the fans and critics voiced their objections to the presence of a black storm-trooper. Boyega was quick to address the criticism through Twitter, essentially telling everyone to just “get used to it”.

While this is definitely not the first (and probably not the last) time that a movie’s cast led to racial back and forth, the question remains whether Boyega’s critics can indeed be considered racist, or they’re just Star Wars canon-nazis. Star Wars fans are notoriously touchy when it comes to tampering with their storylines. The lot critical of the black storm-trooper will probably point it out that all storm troopers were the clones of a white man in the movie, but the canon buffs will immediately have a whole bunch of arguments to support the idea of black storm-troopers in the imperial ranks. The canon-twist is possible for a multitude of reasons indeed: the Force Awakens takes place some 30-50 years after the initial storm troopers got sent into service, which essentially means that most of them would be dead or very old at that point. Considering the fact that clones were set to age twice as fast as humans (to become ready for combat earlier), the original clone army would indeed be completely wiped out within 30-50 years. The Empire could then obviously make use of more recruits and clone its armies from several different sources, thus racially diversifying them in the process.

The bottom line: Boyega’s presence as a storm trooper does not in any way alter the storyline, and if he was indeed deemed to be the best actor for the job, then there is absolutely no point in splitting hairs about why he’s one of the boys in white who never seem to be able to hit anything with their lasers.