However, Driver says this doesn't "necessarily" mean Episode VIII is "darker"
Star Wars actor Adam Driver has compared the franchise’s latest instalment to The Empire Strikes Back.
Driver is reprising his role as Kylo Ren in Episode VIII, the follow-up to last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is due in December 2017, after this year’s spin-off film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“It’s great,” Driver replied when asked by Collider about the new film’s script. “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. It’s just different in tone in a way that I think is great and necessary but also very clear.”
Praising the film’s writer-director Rian Johnson, Driver added: “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.”
Driver’s co-star John Boyega has previously hinted that Johnson will be taking the saga in a slightly different direction, saying in a recent interview: “Rian Johnson is great. It’s a different take, darker, bigger. Someone will say: ‘How do you get bigger than Force Awakens? But it’s crazy.”
Earlier this summer Johnson shared some behind-the-scenes pictures from the set of Star Wars: Episode VIII. Marking the halfway point in filming, the photos feature an X-Wing cockpit and a computer system. Writing on tumblr, Johnson said: “I can’t believe we’re halfway through the shoot. (We’re halfway through the shoot!)”.
Disney and Lucasfilm have set a release date of December 15, 2017.