Imperial Dreams: Star Wars’ John Boyega Shines in Trailer for Netflix Drama

Actor John Boyega became a household name after defective from his duties as a Stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But in the latest Netflix original film, Boyega is facing much more down-to-Earth problems…even if they are still Imperial. Boyega stars in Imperial Dreams, a new “gangster fairy tale” due to premiere on Netflix this Friday. And, with apologies to his Star Wars heritage, we’ve got a good feeling about this.

Imperial Dreams finds Boyega playing “Bambi” (no, really), a 21-year-0ld reformed gangster, just out of prison and trying to stick on the straight and narrow. He dreams of becoming a writer, but returning to his old stomping grounds in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts ensures that going straight is just not that easy. Here’s the trailer for Imperial Dreams.

Imperial Dreams premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. The flick was directed by Malik Vitthal, who made a name with shorts such as Watts and Volts and Leela. Imperial Dreams is his first produced feature film. He co-wrote Imperial Dreams with writer/actor Ismet Prcic. The trailer looks intense, and Boyega’s performance is pretty clearly going to be worth the watch. Imperial Dreams is also currently rocking an 86% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it looks like this isn’t just a case of “good trailer, weak movie.”

Imperial Dreams is the latest in Netflix’s strong push into trying to build a lineup of original films as impressive as that of their original TV shows. So far their catalog has been a diverse mix of everything from biopics (Barry) to sci-fi actioners (Spectral), creepy horror flicks (I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House) to Adam Sandler stinkers (The Do-Over). Imperial Dreams definitely looks to be a worthy addition for a streaming service that is increasingly focused on original productions over catalog acquisitions.

Imperial Dreams premieres this Friday, February 3, on Netflix Instant.