With a new writer and director comes some changes. Rian Johnson is taking over for “The Force Awakens” writer/director J.J. Abrams on “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” and star Adam Driver says he noticed some big differences. However, it sounds like the Kylo Ren actor embraced the modifications.
“It’s great. It’s similar to how ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ has a different tone,” Driver explained to Collider. “For that people always go ‘oooh, it’s dark’ but I don’t know that it necessarily is. It’s just different in tone in a way that I think is great and necessary but also very clear. He trusts [that] his audience is ready for nuance and ambiguity. He’s not dumbing anything down for someone and that’s really fun to play.”
It isn’t just the tone that’s clear. Driver said he discovered more about Kylo Ren while reading Johnson’s “Episode VIII” script. “I learned a lot of things about my character through his writing,” Driver revealed. “Some things we talked about before and some things we didn’t. He was working on [the script] while we were still working on the first one. To understand what J.J. was doing and take ownership from there is kind of a remarkable thing. And he’s the most polite, unassuming guy and he was appropriately territorial about some things but would still be the first to admit when something’s not working.”
Kylo Ren isn’t the only character audiences will learn more about. It seems like the eighth film in the “Star Wars” saga will explore Rey (Daisy Ridely), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) too. Johnson teased in July that the movie would really delve into the new characters.
“The first film was this incredible explosion of adventure and excitement that sets up these characters,” Johnson told audiences at Star Wars Celebration in London (via MTV). “Then, just out of necessity, it’s very natural that the second film is where we start zooming in on the characters. We’re getting to the heart of them, challenging them, and pushing them deeper. The actors were all very excited about that.”
Don’t ask for details on what exactly will be revealed about the characters, though. Lucasfilm and its employees are very tightlipped about the new movie. Johnson has, however, revealed that the movie will pick up right where “The Force Awakens” left off with, Rey finding Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Audiences will have to wait until 2017 to find out what happens from there.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” is set to hit theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.