'Hollywood Remixed': John Boyega on 'Star Wars' and Diversity in Sci-Fi

John Boyega - Getty - H 2019
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John Boyega

In the seventh episode of The Hollywood Reporter's podcast, hosts Rebecca Ford and Rebecca Sun explore racial diversity in Hollywood's outer space stories.

Welcome to the seventh episode of Hollywood Remixed, The Hollywood Reporter's podcast about culture change and inclusion in entertainment.

Each week, hosts Rebecca Sun (senior reporter) and Rebecca Ford (awards editor) explore a type of character or story that traditionally has been underrepresented or misrepresented in pop culture, and interview a special guest whose work exemplifies a new breakthrough in representation. Each episode is dedicated to a single theme, revisiting groundbreaking classics and introducing listeners to hidden gems, in order to better understand how film and television in the past have shaped progress in the present.

In episode seven, "Episode VII: RAAACE IN SPAAAAACE," debuting Dec. 18, the Rebeccas explore racial diversity in sci-fi film and TV projects, specifically those set in galaxies far, far away. Onscreen, outer space is full of aliens that literally come in all colors, but the inclusion of real-life race in these stories tends toward caricaturing or tokenizing actors of color in supporting roles or using heavy allegory to depict racial intolerance. They'll also discuss the two biggest space franchises -- Star Trek and Star Wars - and their most iconic characters of color.

Later in the episode, the Rebeccas sit down with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's John Boyega to talk about his journey to playing the ex-stormtrooper Finn and how he's handled social media as one of the major actors of color in Hollywood's biggest, most enduring -- and most endlessly debated -- franchise.

Hear it all now on Hollywood Remixed, and subscribe on your preferred podcasting platform. Next week, in the season finale, the Rebeccas will welcome Brooklyn 99 star Stephanie Beatriz and discuss the representation of LGBTQ Latinas on film and TV. And check out our first six episodes of Hollywood Remixed, featuring Last Christmas star Henry Golding on Asian leading men, This Is Us and Waves star Sterling K. Brown on black fatherhood, The Good Place's William Jackson Harper on black nerds and much more.