As great as it was to see Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, and (very briefly) Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the movie wouldn’t nearly have been the success it was if not for the new characters. Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron had us excited to join the Resistance, but if not for a compelling villain, we’d have checked out. Luckily, Kylo Ren (as played by Adam Driver) was incredibly deep and interesting, wrestling with the dark side and the light. That looks to be expanded even further in Episode VIII, according to a new interview with the actor.
In a piece by Collider, Driver praised Episode VIII‘s writer-director Rian Johnson for being able to jump in to the franchise so ably. He also expressed love for Johnson’s script specifically for its clarity. “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.”
Later in the interview, Driver explained that Episode VIII will be a lot like The Empire Strikes Back, in that it has a different tone, but he was quick to clarify that he doesn’t mean it’s dark. “It’s just different in tone in a way that I think is great and necessary but also very clear,” he explained, adding praise for Johnson not talking down to the audience. “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.”
One of this particular writer’s (few) complaints about J.J. Abrams‘ vision for The Force Awakens was that parts were needlessly complicated and mysteries were introduced that weren’t totally necessary. Johnson, for his part, appears to be adding to the ambiguity in character and theme without making the plot too hard to follow. If you’ve seen Johnson’s other films—Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper—you know he’s a fan of mysteries…but mysteries that can be solved.
If we find out more about Kylo Ren, we can only imagine we’ll get some answers about Rey’s heritage as well. Fascinating stuff! Let us know what you think will happen to Kylo Ren in Episode VIII in the comments below!
Hey, how come lightsabers don’t burn their wielders’ hands?