You have to give credit to J.J. Abrams for attempting to fight back in a clever way against media leaks on the set of “Star Wars.” After posting a picture of what appeared to be the Millennium Falcon on the set of “Episode VII”, it might have been the only way left to bring some sense of secrecy to the film that we all knew would be compromised. You have to imagine what would have happened back in the late 1970s and early ’80s had social media been around when the original trilogy was being filmed. While it could have created even more anticipation, it also could have ruined the impact the original films had on a generation who didn’t know what they were going to see in each one.
In today’s times, we don’t seem to mind a few minor spoilers, even if the feeling of seeing some of the details in “Episode VII” for the first time might be in the film’s favor. While I recently wrote on the potentials of the media (or even the cast) leaking photos from the “Episode VII” cast, what more can J.J. Abrams do to keep more photos from getting out in the open?
Abrams obviously understands the psychology of the media leak since he’s been a master at keeping secrets in unorthodox ways. He’s even been known for storing scripts inside secret facilities that require serious credentials to enter. So in the instance of TMZ now posting pictures on the set of “Episode VII”, you have to wonder what the next strategy is. Will Abrams be able to convince fans that some of the photos you see posted online are possibly fakes and not real?
Fighting Back with TMZ
The picture of the Millennium Falcon Abrams posted generated plenty of discussion about whether it was true fakery or had a sense of realness to it. After all, we know Harrison Ford is playing Han Solo, which means the Millennium Falcon has to be in there, with perhaps a lot of dings and in need of a tune-up. As with the rumor of Han Solo dying in “Episode VII”, perhaps the biggest surprise is that the Millennium Falcon also gets a send-off in the process.
Misleading the public with a picture possibly taken 35 years ago of the Falcon was perhaps the best approach Abrams could take. But now you have to hope he takes a new twist and turns the tables on TMZ who seem to be the biggest menaces in keeping secrets of anything in the entertainment industry. No doubt the minute it was announced “Episode VII” was filming in Tunisia, TMZ had their photographers book hotel rooms there the same day. And how do we know that perhaps extras on the set didn’t take the photos and sell them to TMZ rather than photographers even being there?
With TMZ seeming to have deep pockets in paying for exclusive pictures of people and events, there may be thousands of pictures coming out of the set of “Episode VII” that could give away major spoilers. The only way to fight back is for Abram’s production team to put up fake pics that are made to look like real TMZ photos. Abrams has probably learned from reading about secret government programs that diversion tactics work just as well when secrets are impossible to keep under wraps.
Once word would get out about the some of the pictures possibly being fakes, it’s going to throw people off the trail about what’s real and what isn’t. In fact, you almost have to wonder if the TMZ pics aren’t in tandem with Abrams’ production team in order to create a deliberate misleading of the public. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate trick from the Abrams playbook?
The only real danger is some of the cast members inadvertently revealing something on set and posting it on Twitter. Considering they’ve probably signed a dozen waivers on not doing that or face a near prison term, some of the best-kept secrets are probably still hidden. With no doubt intention to keep most of the real big surprises indoors, there’s likely CIA-like security outside each one of those doors.