Four years before the Force awakened, a Star Wars star took on angry aliens

WATCH THIS: Attack The Block (2011)

When The A.V. Club reviewed Attack The Block in 2011, critic Nathan Rabin described John Boyega’s lead performance—as a small-time gang member from the South London projects named Moses—as “potentially star-making.” In a way, it was: Directed by first-timer Joe Cornish, Boyega’s debut film earned positive reviews and the kind of cultish fandom enjoyed by producer Edgar Wright’s oeuvre, which made Hollywood take notice. He appeared in the miniseries revival of 24, was being considered for the new Terminator movie, and there was even talk of him appearing in the upcoming Star Wars movie. Flash forward a few years and more than a billion dollars later, and Boyega has had his truly star-making turn as Finn in The Force Awakens, and with it, some measure of cinematic immortality.

Read on at