Adam Driver comments on Rian Johnson’s brilliant script for the upcoming ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’…
There were plenty of comparisons between ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to the original film in the series ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ when it came to plot and overall storyline in the 2015 film directed by J.J. Abrams.
The upcoming sequel — ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ — written and directed by ‘Looper’ helmer Rian Johnson will also emulate ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ according to Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren in the series, but not in the way you might be thinking.
Rather than a carbon copy of the story per se, Driver says ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ has a much different tone than ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, the same way ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ had such a different feeling from ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’.
“It’s great. It’s similar to how ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ has a different tone. For that people always go “oooh, it’s dark” but I don’t know that it necessarily is,” Driver said.
“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.”
When Abrams finished his run on ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, Rey had just discovered the last Jedi temple where she finally found Luke Skywalker, who had been missing for the entire movie. Johnson’s story reportedly picks up just after that moment as Rey meets the last living Jedi, who has been living in seclusion after his attempt to train the next generation of protectors to the galaxy ended with Ben Solo becoming the evil Kylo Ren.
According to Driver, Johnson’s script really helped him to understand his character even better than before and it’s something they talked about before starting filming on ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ all the way through the final days of production.
“Rian is coming into something that we kind of set up and he just took it to the next level in a really great way. He wrote it, too, and Rian’s writing is so clear. I learned a lot of things about my character through his writing,” Driver said. “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. A lot of times you need to rise to understand what the script is, and perhaps I’m beginning to be unclear, but he’s a great person to work with.”
Considering the pressure that fell on Abrams’ shoulders to relaunch the ‘Star Wars’ universe, Driver says that he felt like he should push even harder in the sequel to make sure that ‘Episode VIII’ continues to raise the bar and appease long time fans of the franchise.
‘Star Wars’ fans are some of the most passionate on Earth so Driver took his job very seriously the first time around and he’s working even harder on the sequel.
“The stakes are even higher, I think,” Driver said about ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’. “No one’s relaxing. Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I didn’t feel more relaxed as if we’d accomplished anything.
“It’s one more reason we have to redouble our efforts and just make it even more specific, but then you also have to let it all go and not think too much while you’re working on it.”
Everyone from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ was back on ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’, including an expanded role for Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
Judging by the way Driver was gushing about Johnson’s script, it looks like ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ has at least one rave review already. ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ will land in theaters on December 15, 2017.