At a screening for Midnight Special, Adam Driver told Entertainment Weekly that he “can’t wait to get on [the Star Wars: Episode VIII] set.”
At a screening for Midnight Special, a limited release film starring Driver, Entertainment Weekly talked to Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver about Episode VIII, and in particular about new director Rian Johnson and how he compares to The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.
While Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley have already been reported to have started filming for Star Wars: Episode VIII, Driver hasn’t even been on a shoot yet. But he has read the script as well as met with Johnson, and he says he “can’t wait to get on set” and work with the latter.
"“Their temperaments are different… I feel like there was so many moving pieces in the first one – just trying to solve it and set the vocabulary for what it was. There’s a lot of that anxiety is gone, because people have developed a language. I think it’s more of a testament to Rian coming into something very established and making it [his own]. I can’t wait to get on set, just because he’s so unassuming and intelligent and approachable. The script they’ve come up with is really great.”"
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I, in turn, am excited by Driver’s and other Star Wars actors’ testaments of how good the story for Episode VIII is. The Force Awakens, while a great film, produced more allusions to the original trilogy than original content. That’s understandable, given Disney wanted to bring back the old fans who were put off by the prequels. With that nostalgic throwback out of the way, Johnson is free to make Episode VIII into something that will set the sequel trilogy apart from the previous two.
And we already have hints that it’s going to be very different. Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Force Awakens script alongside Abrams, said Johnson’s Episode VIII will be “weird.” John Boyega, who plays Finn in Episode VII, said the next installment will be “darker.” While The Force Awakens has dark moments, it is largely a lighthearted adventure film with few “weird” moments (at least, not weird for Star Wars). It sounds like VIII will be a significant departure from that cheery atmosphere.
Yet, as Driver told EW, “They’re still at war. It’s still Star Wars.” He was referring to the Resistance and the First Order still being in conflict in Episode VIII, but his comment that “it’s still Star Wars” should be reassuring that no matter how strange or dark Johnson’s script is, it’s still infused with the spirit of the franchise.