When a little girl asked John Boyega 'Where's Rey?' he gave the world's best answer.

I'm not saying Star Wars' John Boyega is the sweetest human being who ever walked the Earth...

...but he did just spend Friday delivering toys to Star Wars-obsessed kids in a London children's hospital dressed as Finn.


Thankfully, an image of the single most touching moment from Boyega's visit made its way to his Instagram for us all to witness.

Courtesy of the man himself and a little girl named Layla, who put on her Rey costume for the event:


❤️ Layla: Finn where's Rey? Finn: I don't know, I got beat by kylo and I can't remember anything Layla: okay I'll be your Rey today. Okay? Finn: okay! Lead the way.
A photo posted by @john_boyega on

"Where's Rey?" Layla reportedly asked Boyega. "I don't know, I got beat by Kylo [Ren] and I can't remember anything," Boyega replied.

"OK, I'll be your Rey today," the girl said.

"OK, lead the way!" Boyega told her.

After the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," a lot of people were wondering "Where's Rey?"


Even though Rey is, arguably, the film's primary hero, many fans reported having difficulty finding Rey action figures and other merchandise in stores the weeks after the movie opened — in part because Lucasfilm underestimated her popularity and didn't anticipate how quickly Rey toys would fly off the shelves. Hasbro, in particular, came under fire for excluding the character from their Star Wars Monopoly game.

It took lots of people (including director J.J. Abrams) speaking out to get the toy companies to reverse course. Hasbro, ultimately, did include the character in a subsequent Monopoly release, though the company maintains that was its plan all along.

But the incident sent an unfortunate message to Star Wars fans: Women don't matter.

There's evidence that films featuring prominent female heroes can have a direct, positive impact on women's lives.

A 2016 survey of women in nine countries conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the J. Walter Thompson Company found that 61% of those contacted said that "female role models in film and TV have been influential in their lives," and 58% claimed that having those role models inspired them to be "more ambitious or assertive."

Acknowledging that women can run the show not only on screen but also on toy shelves and in conversations is critical to counteracting the message that heroism is a "no girls allowed" club.

That's why Boyega (as Finn) deserves to be applauded for making sure at least one little girl knows exactly where Rey is: in the lead.

GIF from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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