Star Wars: Episode VIII is ‘Much Darker’ in Tone, Says John Boyega

Star Wars: Episode VIII will hit theaters in 2017

Whether you savored every minute of Star Wars: The Force Awakens or were raging at every plot hole, both fans and detractors seem to agree on one thing: John Boyega rocked. The 23-year-old English actor’s performance as Stormtrooper-turned-hero Finn was a highlight of the movie, and now the fan community has a year and a half to debate what Finn’s trajectory in the universe will be once Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives in the summer of 2017. Will he become a Jedi? Will Finn and Rey hook up? Will Finn and Poe hook up? The possibilities are endless, though Boyega confirms to Vogue that, much like The Empire Strikes Back, the middle chapter in the sequel trilogy will head towards the dark side.

“[We’re] just starting work on ‘Star Wars VIII,’ the next film, so I’m back to keeping secrets again,” Boyega said. “It’s great. Much darker, but we’re very excited.”

As for whether his injuries sustained in battle with Kylo Ren will require any cybernetic enhancements, we’re not sure, but the actor is certain there will be a lot more fighting next time.

“No, for [Force Awakens] we really just took it scene by scene, there wasn’t a huge regime,” Boyega continues. “My part in the next film will be much more physical so I might be in the gym a bit more.”

Very little is known about the eighth “Saga” chapter of the hugely successful sci-fi fantasy franchise other than that Johnson is attached to both write and direct and actor Benicio Del Toro is confident he’ll appear as the villain. The film will be produced by Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy and will debut in theaters May 26, 2017 following both J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as the franchise’s first “anthology” film, director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Now playing in theaters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and features a new generation of swashbuckling heroes and shadowy villains, as well as the return of fan-favorite smugglers, princesses, and Jedi. The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow.