For a guy who is notoriously great at keeping plot details a secret, J.J. Abrams has been faced with a variety of leaks from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII – shooting now in England.
Last week, images from an aviation company showed Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon under construction and an X-Wing Fighter under a tarp. Today, eagle-eyed Twitterers @henricku75 and @JamesDeanGB posted photos of Adam Driver in what looks like an X-Wing pilot uniform.
Until now, the scuttlebutt on the Internet had posited that Driver would be playing a Vader-like villain in Episode VII. So if he’s playing a good guy, then who’s the baddie? Or maybe he starts out good and turns bad a la Anakin Skywalker?
With all these leaks, it doesn’t look like Abrams is going to be able to keep the plot genie in the bottle.
So you never know what you’ll see when you’re out flying a plane near the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. The film is currently filming in England and Matthew Myatt from the Airbourne Aviation flying club was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter from the sky.
In the image below, you can see the Falcon under construction and an X-Wing fighter under what looks like a tarp. Both of them appear to be built to scale.
Director J.J. Abrams is reportedly using more traditional effects in the upcoming instalment and relying less on the CG effects of Episode I: The Phantom Menace and its sequels. In an recent Girls in Hoodies podcast, Rian Johnson, who will helm Episode VIII said that there was a lot of “practical building for this one.”
A video was posted just a few hours after the photo made its rounds on the internet, showing off more of the secretive set.
In interview with my colleague Steve Tilley at TIFF his week, Abrams’ pal Simon Pegg talked about his recent set visit, saying that the film looks fantastic. “I cannot tell you a single thing,” he added. “People sometimes criticize J. J. for how protective he is of his stuff, which I find baffling because all he’s doing is trying to protect the audience experience.”
J.J. Abrams has finally figured out the internet and is using his incredible powers for good this time around.
In a recent video shot from the London set of the new film, Star Wars director Abrams appears to be standing in front of an X-wing fighter, an almost exact replicate of the ones used in George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy.
Even the uniform worn by the Rebel pilot who rudely interrupts Abrams’ speech looks identical to the revered one sported by Luke Skywalker.
Before the commenters begin raging about the lack of attention paid to the crucial changes made that we can obviously see on the ship, let me digress.
The most eye-catching change is the use of mostly blue paint to highlight the aircraft as opposed to the striking redish orange used in the original trilogy by the Red Squadron. There are also only half of the thrusters, with each side sporting one instead of two.
One significant change I completely missed that Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican pointed out (and it is a doozy) is the lack of compartment space made for an R2 of some sort to travel in. Are we meant to believe the new squadron of fighter pilots will be flying sans robot? Let’s hope not.
There’s been some talk on the internet (naturally, it comes with the Star Wars territory) the gigantic vehicle towering over Abrams isn’t an X-wing, but is in fact a Z-95 Headhunter ship.
According to the official Star Wars account, which was verified by the people at Twitter, “It is in fact an Episode VII X-wing, not a Z-95.”
The entire video was created in support of the “official” charity Abrams and his production crew have become a part of, Star Wars: Force For Change. The charity works in partnership with UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, a subdivision of the world wide charity that helps develop technology for third world countries.
Those who donate to the charity can win a visit to the set of the film, an advanced screening, or if you’re really lucky, a role in Star Wars: Episode VII.
You couldn’t brag about that twenty years ago, but in the age of 2014, that’s most definitely worth an Instagram post.
Today, the online world erupted into balls of excited flames as confirmations were made by Bad Robot, Abrams’ production company working on Episode VII, that the Millennium Falcon would be in the new film.
Bad Robot tweeted the snarky photo below of a supposed internal memo Abrams had left on one of the props asking employees not to leak photos of anything on set.
“I wish people would stop leaking photos from Episode VII. And making ridiculous claims that the Millennium Falcon is in the movie,” the memo says.
At first glance, it may come off as a stern, almost lecturing memo from Abrams, but according to Star Wars nerds everywhere, the memo was propped up on a hologame table, which can be seen in the original trilogy aboard the famous ship.
It’s not the first time Abrams has had to address leaks with staff members, and quite frankly, it’s going to be almost impossible to prevent them moving forward considering the enormity of his staff.
In April, Badass Digest posted a leaked photo of a letter sent to all cast and crew members on set. In it, Abrams threatens that if a person is found to be leaking information to the press, he’d “personally destroy” their reputation and careers. Although the letter turned out to be fake, but through various reports, we know how serious Abrams is about keeping everything under wrap.
For now, though, Abrams has stayed ahead of the game, becoming the leaker instead of the man sitting behind a computer looking at what’s been anonymously leaked.
Does this mean Abrams will have to destroy his own career and reputation?
After sharing a cast photo during a table read at Pinewood Studios late last month, filming has officially begun on the next Star Wars film. The news was confirmed via director J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Twitter account with a photo that was captioned #dayone. The official Star Wars Twitter account also tweeted a photo with the words, “Officially begun, production has.”