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John Boyega

John Boyega is the rising young actor who was cast as one of the heroes of the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. John Boyega was born to Nigerian parents in the Peckham neighborhood of London, which had a reputation as a rough urban area. However, Boyega became involved in youth theater and then studied performing arts at South Thames College. He enrolled at Greenwich University but left school to focus on acting. His first starring role was in the 2011 sci-fi horror comedy Attack the Block, where he led a gang of teens protecting South London from an alien attack. He also had guest roles on TV shows like Law & Order: UK (2011) and Major Lazer (2015) and larger parts in smallish movies like Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) and Imperial Dreams (2014). In April of 2014 he was officially cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Much was made of the fact that Boyega is black, making him a rarity in the Star Wars universe. His character, Finn, is a white-suited stormtrooper who abandons his post with the evil First Order and joins the fight with the heroic Resistance.

Extra Credit

John Boyega’s co-star in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an even lesser-known young actress, Daisy Ridley.

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