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J.J. Abrams to find a compromise between his secrecy and Star Wars reveals

Jan. 27, 2014by: Alex Maidy

After the bungled "is he/isn't he" reveal surrounding Benedict Cumberbatch's John Harrison/Khan character in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS put a hole in J.J. Abrams trademark secrecy surrounding projects he has directed or produced, many have been left wondering whether or not he would employ the same with STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. With Disney and Marvel very open and timely with their news surrounding superhero movie news, can Abrams do the same with Lucasfilm's pride and joy?

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Abrams was asked about how his history of playing things close to the vest will go down with his latest film.

"[STAR WARS has] always been a more open, fan-engaged universe than I've been used to," he admitted that "there'll be some sort of compromise...there's a purity in not knowing every little thing [about a story ahead of time]. We're living in a moment of instant information and a sense of entitlement to that information. I think it's nice to remember that there's nothing wrong with a sense of anticipation."

Abrams even shared a fun little anecdote about how Bad Robot is handling STAR WARS: EPISODE VII development:

My office… I’m working on the Star Wars script today and the people in my office have covered up all my windows with black paper. I guess they wanted to make sure no one could see what I was doing." He added, "it seems rather extreme."

We have had almost no news about STAR WARS: EPISODE VII aside from the hiring and departure of Michael Arndt. This includes the lack of formal announcements surrounding whether Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, or Carrie Fisher being in the movie at all. So far it seems like Disney is either planning on a big announcement at one time or they are still in a state of flux which they don't want to be interpreted as production trouble this far into the game. I hope it is the former as STAR WARS: EPISODE VII is going to make or break a lot of fans. I have confidence in J.J. Abrams, but I am still cautiously optimistic about this.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII opens December 18, 2015.

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1:25PM on 01/28/2014
"No sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!!"
"No sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!!"
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12:21PM on 01/28/2014
It sounds good that he's willing to compromise. He always came across in the media as a whiny-snot-nosed kid complaining that everyone knew his secrets.
But with Star Wars, fans are going to want to know something about it. Especially considering the size of the fanbase, not to mention the unexpected new trilogy coming out next year.
I don't think Disney or Abrams needs to go over board with secrets and production details. More than anything, I think what people want is to know what the
It sounds good that he's willing to compromise. He always came across in the media as a whiny-snot-nosed kid complaining that everyone knew his secrets.
But with Star Wars, fans are going to want to know something about it. Especially considering the size of the fanbase, not to mention the unexpected new trilogy coming out next year.
I don't think Disney or Abrams needs to go over board with secrets and production details. More than anything, I think what people want is to know what the plot of the movie is and who is going to be in it. Aside from that, people can wait patiently to see the finished result in theatres.
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9:54AM on 01/28/2014
Speaking of Khan... when I picked up Star Trek Into Darkness, it says that Cumberbatch is Khan right on the back of the case. I thought that was kind of funny since they try to keep it a secret through the movie. As for Star Wars VII, I don't need to know anything about it to get me into the theater. I'm there.
Speaking of Khan... when I picked up Star Trek Into Darkness, it says that Cumberbatch is Khan right on the back of the case. I thought that was kind of funny since they try to keep it a secret through the movie. As for Star Wars VII, I don't need to know anything about it to get me into the theater. I'm there.
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5:32AM on 01/28/2014
I wanna go into the theater not knowing too much. I am getting excited for this! I wanna have that sense of wonderment I once had for the franchise. The way I felt before episode 1 came out. The only difference being after I leave the theater really feeling like I saw a great film! If we get Hamill, Fisher, and Ford back then it will go a long way toward that goal!
I wanna go into the theater not knowing too much. I am getting excited for this! I wanna have that sense of wonderment I once had for the franchise. The way I felt before episode 1 came out. The only difference being after I leave the theater really feeling like I saw a great film! If we get Hamill, Fisher, and Ford back then it will go a long way toward that goal!
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+8
11:43PM on 01/27/2014

blacked out office windows?!

they're definitely choreographing lightsaber battles. i imagine JJ Abrams office is just full of star wars toys and a notebook.
they're definitely choreographing lightsaber battles. i imagine JJ Abrams office is just full of star wars toys and a notebook.
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7:52PM on 01/27/2014
It's much harder to keep secrets these days, as LoCkEd_N_LoAdEd has pointed out, but it's important for Abrams and company to keep the cards close to their chest and the guy probably knows what he's doing. Can you imagine if the twist in Episode V had been spoiled on some 1980s social networking platform, and how that would've ruined the film for those who inadvertently read about it? This is also going to be the first Star Wars movie to employ viral marketing, so I'm really curious to see what
It's much harder to keep secrets these days, as LoCkEd_N_LoAdEd has pointed out, but it's important for Abrams and company to keep the cards close to their chest and the guy probably knows what he's doing. Can you imagine if the twist in Episode V had been spoiled on some 1980s social networking platform, and how that would've ruined the film for those who inadvertently read about it? This is also going to be the first Star Wars movie to employ viral marketing, so I'm really curious to see what they'll roll out when promoting the film.
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6:15PM on 01/27/2014
I'm not sure we really need to worry as much, considering it's not a revamp like Star Trek and will be dealing largely with all-new characters, instead of bringing in classics like Khan (if we get word Ian McDiarmid, David Prowse, or Ewan McGregor are involved, then we already know the character they'll be playing). If there is a model to follow though, it would be Nolan, who teases just the right amount to keep people invested while not really telling us much.
I'm not sure we really need to worry as much, considering it's not a revamp like Star Trek and will be dealing largely with all-new characters, instead of bringing in classics like Khan (if we get word Ian McDiarmid, David Prowse, or Ewan McGregor are involved, then we already know the character they'll be playing). If there is a model to follow though, it would be Nolan, who teases just the right amount to keep people invested while not really telling us much.
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6:03PM on 01/27/2014
As someone mentioned previously, he could adopt Nolan's viral marketing technique that seem to satisfy fans appetite for early information while simultaneously not letting out too much information.

I would also suggest that he could easily begin releasing "non news" items to satisfy the need for any kind of press release. For instance, he could begin by having a graphic designer generate and release an official Star Wars logo and banners for all online press to use in their stories. He
As someone mentioned previously, he could adopt Nolan's viral marketing technique that seem to satisfy fans appetite for early information while simultaneously not letting out too much information.

I would also suggest that he could easily begin releasing "non news" items to satisfy the need for any kind of press release. For instance, he could begin by having a graphic designer generate and release an official Star Wars logo and banners for all online press to use in their stories. He could officially announce C-3PO and R2-D2 will be in the films, and announce their casting. These are things that people already know, even though there hasn't been any official release, so those are the kinds of things he could begin issuing "official" press releases on.
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-15
5:30PM on 01/27/2014
As long as there are no lens flares, I'm happy for you to do whatever you want with the franchise, J.J.
As long as there are no lens flares, I'm happy for you to do whatever you want with the franchise, J.J.
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5:03PM on 01/27/2014
There's really no way to control the hype and certain things being revealed about Episode VII as hard as Abrams may try. In the end I just want it to be a great movie that feels closer to the original trilogy. I don't hate the prequels but I never have much of an interest in revisiting them whereas the originals I can watch any time. I don't envy the pressure Abrams is under.
There's really no way to control the hype and certain things being revealed about Episode VII as hard as Abrams may try. In the end I just want it to be a great movie that feels closer to the original trilogy. I don't hate the prequels but I never have much of an interest in revisiting them whereas the originals I can watch any time. I don't envy the pressure Abrams is under.
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4:45PM on 01/27/2014

He's right.

We now live in a generation where information can be passed on in an instant, where stories can go viral in mere minutes, and where we have to know each and every little thing as soon as it comes out. I think that having as little known about Star Wars Episode VII is a good thing. There will be rumors and leaks and hopefully nothing groundbreakingly important. I want to walk in the theater knowing as little as possible. Only a few trailers here and there at most. I want to experience Star Wars
We now live in a generation where information can be passed on in an instant, where stories can go viral in mere minutes, and where we have to know each and every little thing as soon as it comes out. I think that having as little known about Star Wars Episode VII is a good thing. There will be rumors and leaks and hopefully nothing groundbreakingly important. I want to walk in the theater knowing as little as possible. Only a few trailers here and there at most. I want to experience Star Wars as I did when i was a kid. Fully captivated by something so new. But this time feel something different yet familiar, in an awesome way.
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5:23PM on 01/27/2014
I'd like JJ to apply the same kind of marketing structure that goes into Chris Nolan's films, where a sizeable amount of content is shown but not enough that gives away too many details (e.g. Inception).
I'd like JJ to apply the same kind of marketing structure that goes into Chris Nolan's films, where a sizeable amount of content is shown but not enough that gives away too many details (e.g. Inception).