A few hours after Carrie Fisher was honored at a private memorial in L.A. Thursday, Driver appeared on The Late Show in New York City, where he paid tribute to his fallen co-star. Driver made his debut in the Star Wars franchise in 2015 with The Force Awakens, playing Kylo Ren, the estranged son of Leia (Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Though the actors didn't share any scenes together, Driver and Fisher bonded on set and during the movie's global press tour.
Fisher last appeared on The Late Show in December to promote her memoir, The Princess Diarist—a real thrill for Stephen Colbert, a lifelong Star Wars fan. "As you can kind of tell from meeting her, she burns very bright and has such a great, very generous energy," Driver said. "For that suddenly not to be on set, and we're talking about it and all publicity, or just in life when you see her in a Star Wars event, she's just, you know...to have her character—not just her character in the movie, but her character missing from that very small unit—is a tragedy."
Driver and Fisher were reunited while filming Star Wars: Episode XIII, in theaters Dec. 15—though it's unclear if their characters will finally cross paths. "We finished the second one last summer," he said. "I think the last time I saw her, actually, was on set, being Princess Leia."
The actor and Colbert ended the interview with a lightsaber-inspired thumb war.
Earlier, in a Larry King Now appearance, Driver said the next film will show Kylo's "humanity."
"Even though it's very much a blockbuster movie, there was no taking that for granted, and that we were forced to be general. There was a lot of plot points that we knew were operating in the first one, that we get to explain more in the second one, to make both of them make sense," Driver said. "But they do kind of feel socially active to me, and George Lucas originally, a lot of Star Wars was in response to Vietnam and a lot of what I remember talking about with [J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson] was this idea of terrorism, and two sides being morally justified to behave however they wanted to get whatever they thought was absolutely correct."