Star Wars fever has officially overtaken the world. With the premiere of the film less than 24 hours away, you're probably used to seeing John Boyega's face plastered all over your newsfeed, but unless you're already a Star Wars superfan, you might not know much about him. Here are 8 reasons to fall in love with sci-fi's newest hero.
1. . He's worked hard to get to where he is.
Born in Peckham, London, the 23-year-old actor has studied performing arts at South Thames College and has trained at The Identity School of Acting. He's also put in work on stages all around London, like the Tricycle Theatre as well as the National Theatre, so he knows all about paying dues.
2. . He's proud of his heritage.
When racist fans took issue with John being cast in their beloved franchise, his response was pure perfection. "I am grounded in who I am, and I am a confident Black man," he told The New York Times. "A confident, Nigerian, black, chocolate man. I’m proud of my heritage, and no man can take that away from me." Preach!
3. . Three words: 'Attack the Block.'
John made his film debut in 2011's Attack The Block as Moses, the badass gang leader fighting to save his neighborhood in South London from an alien invasion. The sci-fi/action/comedy is a cult fave, and John totally nailed his role.
4. . He wore a single black glove to the world premiere of The Force Awakens.
While it might just seem like a weird, Michael Jackson-esque fashion statement, John's black glove is most likely a nod to Luke Skywalker wearing a black glove in Return of the Jedi after getting his hand cut off by dear old dad, Darth Vader. Not only was it an awesome way for John to show respect for the franchise he'd joined, but it also gave the fans something to talk about. (Is the glove foreshadowing? No one knows!)
5. . He's a nerd.
John is a total Marvel fan. When he heard that studio execs were currently searching for an actor to take on the role of Black Panther in the 2017 film, he didn't hesitate to make his interest known.
"Marvel role? ... damn right aiming for it," Boyega tweeted back in July. "Currently booking flight to Wakanda." (Wakanda is where Black Panther is from.) The role ultimately went to Chadwick Boseman, but you can't blame a guy for trying.
6. . This adorable story:
Skip to 1:54 to hear John talk about telling his father that he got the role. John's Nigerian accent is spot-on.
7. . This photo:
John is serving young Denzel Washington realness right here, and the world is swooning.
8. . He's a cat person.
He calls his cat "Bim Bim" and "Little S***." How can you not love him?