John Boyega has stirred the pot of Star Wars fan debate online by arguing that future Sith lord Anakin Skywalker was a more powerful Jedi than the new trilogy’s heroine, Rey.
Discussion has raged among fans about Rey’s powers since she arrived in the franchise, with some claiming that she has been written as a ‘Mary Sue’ — a lazy trope in which a character is given extraordinary abilities and no flaws.
The British actor, who plays Stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter Finn in the new Star Wars trilogy, responded to an article claiming that upcoming finale The Rise of Skywalker will prove Rey to be a better Jedi than either Anakin or Luke Skywalker.
“I’m sorry guys,” Boyega wrote, “but Anakin slapping all of us in a pit of lava. Including Kylo.”
Boyega’s entry into the debate sparked feverish discussion among fans on social media, with devotees of the franchise taking both sides.
Many rejoiced that a member of the franchise’s cast agreed with them, quickly dubbing Boyega a “Stanakin” in reference to his respect for Anakin’s abilities.
Some, however, dismissed Boyega’s claims by referring to the way in which Anakin was defeated by mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi at the climax of Revenge of the Sith — the 2005 conclusion to the prequel trilogy.
The Rise of Skywalker will see Rey, Finn and fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) lead what’s left of the Resistance in a final battle against Kylo Ren and the forces of the First Order.
J.J. Abrams is back in the director’s chair for the first time since 2015’s The Force Awakens, having ceded control to Rian Johnson for 2017 movie The Last Jedi.
The movie is being billed as the final entry in the ‘Skywalker Saga’, which started with the first film in 1977, and Abrams has said the team is “not screwing around” and will provide a satisfying conclusion.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is due to arrive in UK cinemas on 19 December.