One of the things that sets the new trilogy apart from its predecessor is that each episode will be directed by somebody new. While J.J. Abrams took the reins for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Episode VIII is being handled by Rian Johnson. The director of Brick and Looper is the right choice for the job according to the man who plays the series' chief villain. Adam Driver thinks Johnson has some specific skills that make him the best person for the job.
He's a brilliant filmmaker. And he wrote the script also, and he understands the importance of ambiguity and nuance. He wrote something that I think is remarkable.
One of the biggest criticisms that was lobbed at Star Wars: The Force Awakens was that it was a bit too derivative of the original Star Wars. Regardless of how much you liked it, nobody would have accused that script of having ambiguity and nuance. It would seem that we're in for a substantially different Star Wars: Episode VIII which would seem to be exactly what Lucasfilm is going for. J.J. Abrams is still overseeing the entire trilogy as a producer so it likely won't feel vastly different, but it seems clear that Rian Johnson will be making his personal mark on the franchise.
The comments of Adam Driver from The Daily Beast mimic those made by another Star Wars: Episode VIII actor. Benicio del Toro was asked about the choice of Rian Johnson after it was originally announced. He also said that Johnson was a great choice. This was after the two had spoken about the work on the project. It just seems that Rian Johnson is one of those directors that inspires the actors they work with. When somebody sits down and talks to Rian Johnson he's able to describe his vision and get everybody on board with it. When everybody is focused on the same goal like that it does tend to produce better movies.
Of course, with all this positive buzz coming from Star Wars: Episode VIII it just makes fans want to get their first glimpse of it. At this point, it appears that we likely won't be getting our first trailers for the film until sometime in the spring. At this point we don't even really know what the movie will be about. All we have is a vague direction for the movie to go based on how Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended. We do know that Episode VIII will pick up immediately after that final scene where Rey and Luke stand atop a hill together. That's about the only thing that we know with any certainty.
We hope that Rian Johnson makes Star Wars: Episode VIII as exciting as the actors seem to think it will be. We'll know for sure when the film hits screens December 15, 2017.