‘Stars Wars VII’ Producers Discuss Line Between Secrecy & Spoilers

Published 2 years ago by

Obi Wan Kenobi says no in The Phantom Menace Stars Wars VII Producers Discuss Line Between Secrecy & Spoilers

Between excited fans and nosy film bloggers, major studios currently have their work cut out for them when trying to keep story details and secrets under wraps until a film gets released. A number of production companies – J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot label being one particularly salient example – now put a lot of work into making sure that their secrets stay secret.

With that in mind, there’s no film that you’d expect be more shrouded in secrecy than Star Wars Episode VII, the first of the new Star Wars films to be produced by Disney after the company bought Lucasfilm, and the start of what is currently being planned as a new film trilogy and multi-platform franchise. However, producer Kathleen Kennedy said in a recent interview that she feels ready to “embrace” Internet culture and all the spoilers, rumors and speculation that come with it – and that, “there are things you’re gonna want to make sure [the fans] get to know.”

However, SlashFilm has spoken to another of Star Wars Episode VII‘s producers, Bryan Burk, regarding Kennedy’s comments, and he had a slightly different take on the matter. While he acknowledges that fan buzz can be a great positive when it comes to promoting a film, he also thinks that there’s some value in secrecy:

“Nobody saw ET before and I didn’t know what the temple in The Temple of Doom was until I saw it. I guess what I’m saying is it’s always that balance. It’s a hard thing. If I were to right now tell you all of the things that were going to happen in Star Wars in detail, the left side of your brain would say  ‘Awesome,’ you guys would have this exclusive and know all of this stuff. But the right side is going to sit down one day and see the movie for the first time and you’d have all of that kind of spoiled, so it’s that balance of wanting to know everything and not wanting to know everything at the same time.”

Darth Vader says no in Revenge of the Sith Stars Wars VII Producers Discuss Line Between Secrecy & Spoilers

One of the blessings and curses of social media is that if a studio does any filming outside, in an area that’s not completely closed off from public view, any passing Average Joe can snap a photo, upload it to Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter and tag it with the film’s name before the director even has time to call ‘cut.’ Additionally, since Hollywood is leakier than a sieve when it comes to actors negotiating and auditioning for roles, it’s incredibly difficult to keep even cameo appearances a secret right up until a film’s release.

And that’s just the information that gets released through unofficial channels. The current standard for movie marketing is to release two or three full-length trailers, up to a dozen TV spots, a number of different international posters, a mass of set photos and promotional stills, and interviews with the cast and crew that result from both organised junkets and general red carpet ambushes.

Some directors have embraced the atmosphere of rumor and speculation that surrounds a film’s production, on the basis that all publicity is good publicity; Marc Webb, for example, has been posting a different photo for every day of filming on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, some of which have given away major aspects of the plot.

Luke Skywalker says no in The Empire Strikes Back Stars Wars VII Producers Discuss Line Between Secrecy & Spoilers

Here at Screen Rant we always try to include a warning if we’re about to break out a serious spoiler, so that readers can avoid them if they prefer to, but the collective effect of so many minor details and snippets being released over time is that you can sometimes find yourself sitting in the theater waiting for a certain actor to show up or a plot twist that you’ve heard about prematurely. Elaborate, explosive set-pieces that could have been mind-blowing if they were seen for the first time are instead impressive, but familiar, when the audience has already seen them multiple times in different trailers.

One solution to this, of course, is to deliberately avoid reading any news stories or watching any trailers at all, but when you’re looking forward to a movie it can sometimes be almost impossible to resist the temptation of getting a sneak peek at it. Perhaps the air of secrecy that Burk talks about is necessary… if only to save us from ourselves.

Do you agree that learning a movie’s secrets ahead of time spoils the experience when you finally get to see it, or is it all part of the fun?


Star Wars Episode VII is expected to be out on general release in Summer 2015.

Source: SlashFilm

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. NNNOOOOO!!! That’s not true, that’s impossible!

  2. I agree with your penultimate paragraph.

    As for your question, I think that reading/hearing spoilers can certainly take away from the experience. That’s why I usually try to avoid spoilers as best as I can.
    However, with some people (some who oost on this very site) being hell bent on revealing spoilers, they’re tough to avoid.

  3. I personally don’t care for spoilers that much I love the feeling of suprise that’s one of my favorite things about movies as a whole you never know to much

  4. The thing for me is, spoilers can wreck things for me but other times, they can enhance whatever I’m experiencing after.

    For instance, I was online constantly trying to read as much about Cloverfield as I could to find out what it was about and what the monster was. I read the plot on Wikipedia a week before it hit UK cinemas and when I saw the movie on release day, the spoilers helped make the movie even better somehow.

    Not sure whether that helped put Cloverfield in my top 10 of all time list or not but if I’d known spoilers for TDKR before seeing it, the movie would’ve been ruined for me.

  5. I definitely need to be saved from myself. The more secrets they keep the better.

    • That made me laugh boogoo hahaha. Same here

  6. According to J.J. Abrams on a late-night talk show the other night, they’ve hit a writer’s block patch in regards to the Episode VII story… methinks my first instinct with this new trilogy may prove correct, that it’s both totally unnecessary and purely money-driven!

    I would love to be proved wrong however…

    • Wrong because one Lucas has treatments and 2 Abrams himself says that it was a gag

      • george lucas is finally getting his treatments

      • Oh right, if Abrams was indeed joking on that ‘writer’s block’ comment, I stand corrected, didn’t hear that part about it being a gag!

        And George Luca$ only started writing the treatments in 2012 as a bargaining incentive during the Lucasfilm purchase negotiations with Disney, he spent the previous 15 years telling anyone who would listen there would never be a sequel trilogy because “the story is finished”… too right, the story finished for me in 1983, and I’ve yet to see anything that changes that opinion!

    • i don’t like mark can joshua your words

  7. I blame the movie studio’s. They say they want to keep key plot lines hidden so it doesn’t spoil the movie yet they put out a ton of different trailers so your able to piece the movie together. Back in the day of ET and Temple of Doom they showed one maybe two previews. It was just enough to keep you interested. I understand the studio needs to promote but they are going WAY overboard. Plus with the Star Wars brand no promotion is necessary. Look what kind of buzz was made when the news broke they were making a new one? Movies with a history like Star Wars, Star Trek, Die Hard or Indy don’t need much word to be spread because of there fan base and their reputation.

  8. Since before The Matrix I simply don’t watch a single preview or read a single spoiler for any movie I am interested any more. My enjoyment of movies has increased freaked infinitely since I started this practice.

  9. The ending of ‘Sinister’ was ruined for me on this site by someone commenting on a story about the possibility of a sequel. I did not think someone would just blab out the ending like that. Lesson learned.

  10. I can’t wait!

    P.S. I enjoy to see all parts of a movie for the first time in theatre.

  11. It’s a balancing act for me and obviously it depends on the movie.
    Take Star Trek for example, I want to and will see it but I’m not the biggest fan of the series so if I learn something that could be a spoiler I won’t get to worked up. In fact it may spike my interest.
    Now let’s look at Man of Steel my most anticipated of 2013. I’ll watch the trailers but now that we are close to the release I have stopped reading anything that has to do with the movie and won’t even watch TV spots.
    But no matter what my interest is I’d never purposely post a spoiler or try to spoil it for someone else. Even after a movie hits DVD I’ll be careful about what I say and will post a warning before if I do. That’s just common decency IMO.

  12. It’s ironic that Obi Wan Kenobi is making the same face I made when I first seen Jar Jar.

  13. No cause you don’t know when the secret will happen.

  14. leak up the characters please. we people can help improve them.

    • it is always better to start creating characters first before we see a storyline. inspiration comes from them. if we draw a storyline from anything, we try to create a character and usually ends up like a jarjar binks and company.

      • for me a jarjar binks character is bad taste.