In between multiple viewings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans having been discussing and debating exactly what might happen when the next installment of the saga hits screens in May 2017. And let’s face it, there were plenty of plot threads left dangling to keep those conversations going for quite a while. Of course, Lucasfilm is not about to let any cats out of that particular bag any time soon, but Force Awakens star John Boyega has offered a little hint as to what to expect tonally.
Speaking with Vogue, the actor who plays AWOL stormtrooper-turned-Resistence hero Finn stated –
[We’re] just starting work on ‘Star Wars VIII,’ the next film, so I’m back to keeping secrets again… It’s great. Much darker, but we’re very excited.
It should not be much of a surprise that Episode VIII will be a darker film. The classic Star Wars trilogy very much was structured as a three act story. The first act (Star Wars: A New Hope) introduced all the main characters and the overall conflicts. Act two, in this case The Empire Strikes Back, sees complications piled up on those characters before everything is resolved in Act Three, i.e., Return Of The Jedi.
I dare say that some fans may, of course, interpret this as Episode VIII will contain story beats that echo those found in Empire. While The Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams has been upfront about using similar plot points in his film as can be found in the original Star Wars film, there is no real indication that Episode VIII director Rian Johnson will be doing something along those same lines. One can certainly strive for a tone similar to another film without overtly aping its story.
Boyega goes on to hint just a bit at what his character might be doing in the new film.
My part in the next film will be much more physical so I might be in the gym a bit more.
While he didn’t have too many physical altercations, Boyega did get to have a somewhat short lightsaber duel in The Force Awakens. It sounds like he might be getting to be more of an action hero in this next installment. But with the film’s darker tone, might there be consequences for all that heroism?
Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to open May 26, 2017.