Thursday 21 October 2021
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Celebrating Star Wars Heroes (Known and Unknown)

Star Wars is one of the greatest blockbusters of all time, and the most recent movie was released today. We are really looking forward to seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens featuring Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, and other ‘unknown heroes’ like Tola Teriba…

Star Wars John Boyega

Tola Teriba

John Boyega Remains Focussed
First, we believe that John Boyega has been a real role model to a lot of young people. Boyega upheld his dignity and integrity when he simply refused to rise to racist calls to boycott Star Wars from those who questioned his role as an Imperial Stormtrooper because of his skin colour. His focus on his work and his simple message of ‘get over it’ will inspire many young people to not respond negatively to racist comments or distractions.

John Boyega Star Wars

Lupita Encourages Young Girls
Second, we look forward to seeing Lupita because no young black girl will ever forget the speech she gave at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, where she received an award for her role in the film 12 Years a Slave. Lupita has taught young ladies to embrace their unique beauty and talents.

Her red carpet pictures this week show that she is indeed stepping out and being bold and beautiful.

Lupita in blue lipstick

Tola Joins the Force and Pursued his Dream Despite Sickle Cell Anaemia

Just as important as the many Star Wars superstars are the ‘unsung heroes’ rarely mentioned by the media. On 7th December, 2015, students at Hackney Community College had the opportunity to meet Tola Teriba, who talked about the impact his sickle cell anaemia had on his role in the film. Due to his illness, Tola was unable to do elaborate stunt sequences but proceeded to become a body double for Star Wars’ main actor, John Boyega.

Tola Teriba Hackney College 2015

In the very touching piece “I just want to be normal,” published in MCMOnline Magazine, Tola states that, “the disease caused me plenty of trouble on set because I never told them, and I was exposed to lots of extreme temperatures and would often have to be sent home. But once they found out, they were so supportive and found a way to help me without making me feel ‘disabled.’ ”

We applaud Tola for continuing to pursue his dreams despite his setbacks. We also applaud him for sharing his story with others. We hope that it will encourage young people with sickle cell anaemia because ‘despite having four crises in the last three months alone,’ Tola is still determined and going strong.

Tola shares the full story of his childhood, struggle with sickle cell anaemia, time on the Star Wars cast, and more on MCMOnline Magazine. Please check it out here at


*Picture courtesy BBCAmerica.

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