Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lucasfilm/Disney
By Megan McCluskey
September 13, 2016

Star Wars: Episode VIII isn’t slated to hit theaters until Dec. 15 2017, but The Force Awakens sequel is already starting to get hype from its stars. In a recent interview with Collider, Adam Driver — who plays the villainous Kylo Ren — compared the upcoming installment in the space fantasy saga to The Empire Strikes Back — the film that is widely considered the best of the original trilogy.

“It’s great. It’s similar to how The Empire Strikes Back has a different tone,” he told 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. [Director Rian Johnson] 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.”

The Girls actor also praised Johnson for his ability to carry the story from where J.J. Abrams left off.

“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,” Driver said. “He wrote it, too, and Rian’s writing is so clear. I learned a lot of things about my character through his writing. 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.”

Read more at Collider.com.

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