The Force was with him: John Boyega catches a Pikachu on Star Wars set

Is the Death Star a Pokestop? Are these the Meowths you're looking for? The hit mobile game meets a galaxy far, far away.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read
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John Boyega, who stars as Finn in the new Star Wars trilogy, is a Pokemon Go player.

Mark Mann

Movies look glamorous on the big screen, but film shoots are long slogs, with plenty of time spent standing around.

So it should come as no surprise that Star Wars actor John Boyega is playing Pokemon Go on set at Britain's Pinewood Studios. If you quizzed the full cast and crew, you'd probably find half the Rebels and half the Empire are secret players.

"I do have the (Pokemon Go) app," Boyega, who plays reformed stormtrooper Finn in the series, told TechCrunch. "Currently at level 5, CP levels are looking good. I found a Pikachu at Pinewood Studios while filming Star Wars. I told EVERYBODY. 'I got a Pikachu!' I was the most popular kid on set for like a day."

Some have sneered at Boyega's relatively low level, but come on, he's trying to save the galaxy here. And he's a fan of the unity the game has produced.

"I was in Boston a few days ago and I thought there was like a fight going on, there were so many people crowding," he said in the interview. "I was like, 'What's going on? Oh, they're just playing Pokemon.' It's great the ways technology has brought us all together. It's a very interesting time."

Boyega talked to the publication while in Seattle judging Microsoft's Imagine Cup, a global student technology competition. While admiring the students' tech savvy, he reminisced about his own younger days.

"I grew up around a lot of technology, I just couldn't afford it," he said. "I bought my own first game console when I was 17. So, you know, technology was around me, but we kept it classic for a bit."