Things have changed since 1983, and according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, the level of secrecy surrounding the production of JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII is going to reflect this.
We’ve got at least two years of rabid SW nerd rumor-mongering to look forward to, and the tactics used to keep Return of the Jedi under wraps, such as hiding behind pseudonyms (Blue Harvest, Revenge of the Jedi), just won’t cut it in the Internet Age.
According to an interview Kennedy recently had with ScreenSlam, the secrecy surrounding the highly-anticipated film is something they’re going to “monitor, pay attention to and think differently about.” Whatever that really means…
The gist seems to be that Lucasfilm is aware that they won’t be able to get away with keeping fans entirely in the dark this time, so rather than allow wild speculation (which is gonna happen anyway), they’re going to carefully control what, and how much information is released, while endeavoring to keep fans at least somewhat in the loop.
This is what Kennedy had to say when asked about “secrecy”:
We talk about that all the time. I think the whole issue of confidentiality is gonna be fascinating as we move into making the movie. If we’re shooting anything outside, it’s almost impossible to not have things end up on the Internet. So my feeling is, you need to embrace that, especially with the fans around something like Star Wars. You need to recognize they’re important to the process and acknowledge there are things you’re gonna want to make sure they get to know. So I think that’s something we’re going to monitor, pay attention to and think differently about.
Abrams is notorious for the nearly paranoid level of secrecy he likes to employ for his projects, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to his employers’ apparent policy of semi-transparency regarding this film.
Here’s the interview with ScreenSlam, skip ahead to 1:15 to hear Kennedy weigh in on this matter.
Star Wars: Episode VII is still due to be released in 2015, just in case you weren’t paying attention