Accents in Star Wars are famously all over the place. There are lots of examples where the actor's natural accent leads to a bit of dissonance within the general rule of commoners=American, ruling elites=British/transatlantic. (Mace Windu and Rey come to mind).

But Boyega is the only major cast member who puts on an accent intentionally- Boyega is British, his character speaks with an American accent. And in-universe, it seems like he speaks with the "wrong" accent; everyone else in the First Order has a British accent, troopers and officers alike.

Has anyone ever commentated on the reason for the accent change? Was it Boyega's decision, or the producers/director?

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    Why not? Luke Skywalker had an American accent. So did Darth Vader (both before and after the Mustafar thing).
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 14:37
  • I don't have time to transcribe the video so someone else can grab it but they didn't feel it was right when he used his natural accent: youtube.com/watch?v=XBsEuUZcosw
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 14:43
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    Finn has an American accent because he's a good guy! Rey's accent is (Rise of Skywalker spoiler alert) a genetic inheritance that she courageously fights against. Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 15:56
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    John Boyega is not the only major cast member who puts on an accent intentionally - e.g. Ewan McGregor suppresses his native Scottish accent to match Alec Guinness' English accent. Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 21:12
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    Leah wept. The movie was made in America by an American. What kind of a question is this? He's an actor. Putting on other accents is What Actors Do! Meryl Streep made a career out of it. Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


The accent was chosen for him to match his character. Other cast members also had to moderate their accents, albeit to a lesser degree.

John Boyega: Doing an American accent is quite interesting. I remember auditioning and there were talks about whether Finn was going to be doing an American accent, or a British accent. I was very happy that they chose an American accent because one of my favorite characters is Han Solo, and Han Solo has this very boyish, charismatic American accent and it makes him sound like he's king of the world. The accent does help me channel that energy a bit. It's great for Finn, and it does help with making him funny and relatable.

Star Wars: The Galaxy's Greatest Heroes - John Boyega Looks Back on Creating Finn (Exclusive)


You coached the two leads: John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Can you share some of your experiences working with them on their accents?

Daisy is a Londoner and JJ Abrams wanted her and other members of the cast to be neutral, not betraying any regional sounds in their accents. John Boyega’s character Finn was to be American, so we did the preparatory work and he produced a faultless accent.

Do you know the reason the decision to have John Boyega speak with an American accent was made?

As far as I know the decision about Finn’s accent was made early on in casting.


This tallies with Boyega's interview, below, in which he states that he tried the audition with his (natural) British accent and was told very early on that it 'wasn't working out'.

"I tried it in the British, but it didn't work out.... They were just like "uh, John, I don't think it's right, let's go with American"

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    Plasma swords and space wizards are one thing, but rugged rebel heroes with British accents are a step too far. Next thing you know, the Doctor will be Scottish or a man will be king of the UK.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 4:17
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    I'm going to accept this, although I wish they went a bit more into why they thought the accent wasn't working. Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 22:31
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    @TenthJustice - Because 'eze from Sarf Londin, innit? A trooper with Boyega's real accent would sound weird
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 4:38
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    @Valorum - Ah, so like when they said that Idris Elba sounded too "urban" to be James Bond when there was talk of him playing the role? Funny whom people seem to say that about.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 9:19
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    @Adamant - I think the issue here is "London accent" rather than "Black accent"
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 11:09

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