Before 'StarWars,' actor had starring role in UNL poster

In the prequel to his acting career, "The Force Awakens" star John Boyega was a model for stock images. One was used in a poster advertising Career Services at UNL.

A long time ago, a defecting Stormtrooper posed for a photo shoot ...

Actor John Boyega, who plays Finn in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," is one of the smiling faces on a student services poster on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

Mashable shared the photo, which was posted by a UNL student on the image website Imgur. Mashable said the photo is one of a few stock images Boyega did for Getty Images.

The photographer of those images, Chris Schmidt, has since chimed in:

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... I did an education-themed stock photo shoot with a bunch of teenage students," he wrote on Facebook. "It turns out John Boyega did quite well afterwards. The force is strong with this one ..."

Steve Smith, news director of UNL University Communications, said the poster is about five or six years old and promotes Career Services at UNL. There are a handful of similar posters around campus, but the poster shared appears to be the one in the Canfield Administration Building, he said.

"It was fairly common at the time for university departments to use stock photos," Smith said. "Though I'm fairly certain we didn't know at the time that one of those smiling faces would eventually become a 'big deal' in the Resistance."

Boyega has since tweeted about his old job as a student model:

"Yep. Used the money for new trainers."

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