John Boyega is a man whose become so famous, he doesn’t just have fans, but stans.
Unfortunately for the Star Wars and Pacific Rim Uprising actor, that also means he has to deal with nameless, faceless trolls on Twitter. The actor has been caught up in a couple of eye-catching Twitter battles, most notably with a group of people who condemned his behavior for dancing at Notting Hill’s Carnival festival in London this past summer. Boyega defended his dance moves, as seen in the tweet below, but engaged with multiple tweeters nonetheless.
Yep! Rey would back it up!!!! Wooooooiiiiiii https://t.co/QpemYxHWjX— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) August 30, 2017
oh shoosh. My responsibility is to myself. Go sit down jor.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) August 30, 2017
absolutely ! Not sure if you're clued up on the history of these conversations. So hush up.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) August 29, 2017
More recently, Boyega has been responding to an account, John Boyega Unsold. The account sends malicious tweets to Boyega pointing out that his action figures aren’t selling compared to other Star Wars actors. Earlier today, another person tweeted at Boyega, calling him the new Jar Jar Binks of the current Star Wars universe, the actor had the perfect response.
I am sooo sooo hurt by this and I'll never be in another one again. I'm literally crying here. pic.twitter.com/xf1UV1Bqet— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 30, 2017
While at New York Comic Con to promote Pacific Rim Uprising, Boyega spoke to Polygon about why he chooses to engage with Twitter trolls instead of ignoring them or turning on his quality control and refusing to have to see the messages. Boyega told us that for him it’s all a bit of fun and he likes to point out how ridiculous they’re being.
“Those are fun to play around with,” Boyega said, laughing. “They’re great. I just find it fantastic fun to show people, kind of, how there comments look, really.”
With more than 1.2 million followers, Boyega receives a lot of tweet throughout the course of the day. Despite the negativity that sometimes pops up in his mentions, the actor said he loves using Twitter. Like many other actors and celebrities in his position, Boyega sees the tool as a way to communicate with fans about upcoming Star Wars projects, Pacific Rim Uprising and other movies he’s working on. Since his work takes him all over the world, he said, it’s a good way of being able to check in with fans on almost every continent.
“A lot of the reasons that I end up collaborating with someone or working with someone is because the fans are able to send me messages and I can instantly tell what they’d like to see,” Boyega said. “It’s fantastic fun. There are things I wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise and even part of this [Pacific Rim Uprising] has an element of something that fans wanted to see.”
Boyega didn’t say whether he’s spoken to studios like Disney and Lucasfilm about his Twitter account, but it seems like he has the freedom to operate however he’d like on his personal account within certain limits. Other actors work with third-party companies to use Twitter as purely self-promotion, operating as an extension of the studio’s formal PR arm.
Boyega shows no sign of slowing down his responses to people or holding back on tweets, easily being one of the most active members of the Star Wars family on Twitter. Perhaps only second to his colleague Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker).
Both Hamill and Boyega will be in Star Wars: The Last Jedi when it’s released on Dec. 15.