The force has awoken and Star Wars is back with a welcome return for some old faces and introductions for some new.

Among the most high profile names joining Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in a galaxy far, far away is Stormtrooper Finn, played by John Boyega.

We’re here to bring you up to hyperspeed with the star who has become a familiar face on our screens, magazines and toys this Christmas.

Growing Up

John Boyega was born in Peckham on March 17, 1992, which makes him 23 years old.

Hi is 5ft 9ins tall, according to his IMDB bio.

His dad, Samson, is a Pentecostal preacher and his mum, Abigail, works with disabled people.

He attended Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, then Westminster City School.

From ages of nine to 14, he was a member of Theatre Peckham. He later tained at Identity School of Acting in Hackney.

After school, John went to South Thames College in Wandsworth to study performing arts and played the lead in Othello in 2010.

He enrolled at Greenwich University but left when his career took off.

In Star Wars

In Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens, John plays Finn, a character described on the official Star Wars website as “a trained warrior desperate to escape his past, Finn is plunged into adventure as his conscience drives him down a heroic path”.

We know he is a stormtrooper so we can only imagine he sees the error of the ways of the ruling First Order (the new trilogy’s version of the Empire) and joins the rebellion, which may or may not be led by Princess Leia.

In the movie’s trailer, we see an out of breath Finn taking off his helmet, saying: “I was raised to do one thing. I’ve got nothing to fight for.”

In a later clip from a TV spot, he says: “You don’t know what I’ve seen. We all need to run.”

From the footage, he’s firmly on the side of the goodies – we see him running from danger with fellow newcomer Daisy Ridley’s Rey, holding a blaster as Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron jumps out of an X-Wing, standing side-by-side with Chewbacca and Han Solo and wielding a lightsabre against stromtroopers and wannabe Darth Vader, Kylo Ren.


While at Identity School of Acting, he appeared in Six Parties at the National Theatre and Category B at the Tricycle Theatre.

Prior to Star Wars, his big break came in Joe Cornish’s south London set sci-fi comedy Attack the Block (2011) as teenage gang leader Moses.

In 2011, he was one of renowned industry magazine Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow.

In 2012, he played murdered Deptford teenager Shakilus Townsend in the TV movie My Murder.

Notable roles

2011 – Moses in Attack the Block, directed by Joe Cornish

2011 – Jamal in Junkhearts, alongside Eddie Marsan

2011 – TV – Danny Curtis in four episodes of Being Human

2011 – TV – Law and Order UK

2013 – Ugwu - Half of a Yellow Sun, alongside Dulwich’s 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton

2013 – William Bond in The Whale, alongside Martin Sheen. The TV movie tells the same story as the blockbuster In the Heart of the Sea, which is in cinemas the week after Star Wars.

2014 – Bambi in Imperial Dreams, the audience award winner at that year’s Sundance Festival

2014 – TV – Chris Tanner for four episodes of 24: Live Another Day

2015 – Finn in Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

2016 – The Circle, director James Ponsoldt’s upcoming sci-fi thriller also stars Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and Karen Gillan.

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