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J.J. Abrams Hits Twitter To Ask For 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Set Photo Leaks And Speculation To Stop

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 4, 2014 11:40 AM
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Here's something that in light of the "Ant-Man" news and this current "Star Wars: Episode 7" update, that might be worth remembering: studios, directors and artists working on films owe you absolutely nothing until they are ready to show off what they've been putting together. But over the past week, impatient fans and blogs have been posting or linking to set photos from "Star Wars: Episode 7." TMZ has been the main culprit, managing to get their hands on creature photos and other pics from the secure set of the highly anticipated sequel, while also revealing photo evidence, that the Millennium Falcon is returning to the franchise as well. (Sorry, we're not linking to them but you know how to use Google, if you're really curious). But all of this has led to a much larger debate about the nature of spoilers and leaks in general.

This Is Infamous got the ball rolling essentially arguing that if fans want the best experience, they'll want to go into "Star Wars: Episode 7" knowing as little as possible. As they argue, the internet's race to be at the front of line of scoops sets up a false relationship between the audience and the film: "How does it help you to see the locations they’ve put together, or the practical effects they’re using? It doesn’t. All it does is ramp up your need for more, heighten your expectations and set you up for failure." Essentially, less is more but there are those who argue that this is just the way things work now, like it or lump it.

A conversation on Twitter found Slashfilm taking the position that "times have changed" and it's basically up to studios to stop the leaks, and filmmakers have to live with the new paradigm. But that debate takes responsibility out of the hands of bloggers who have the choice whether to post out of context, watermarked set photos from tabloid sites (or link to them) or be more selective about the intel they want to help put out into the world. It's something that every blog deals with, including The Playlist, in figuring out what is newsworthy and what's merely empty fodder, and finding a balance is tricky. But to not pause and take a moment to consider if a post of pure speculation about a movie is worth the effort is not really doing your job.

Either way, J.J. Abrams is hoping fans and movie sites will be more considerate, as he hit Twitter today to ask for leaks and speculation to stop. A filmmaker who has long advocated for as pure an experience as possible when seeing a movie for the first time, they're words to remember, particularly as the hysteria around "Star Wars: Episode 7" is only sure to get louder in the weeks and months to come.

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  • nathan ash | June 5, 2014 3:23 PMReply

    What an idiot! This is the alien chess board off the Falcon. Shoot the author.

  • Chris | June 5, 2014 12:30 PMReply

    Really? JJ's note was pure sarcasm, being that its sitting on A PIECE OF THE MELLENNIUM FALCON!

  • Darth JJ | June 5, 2014 12:07 PMReply

    So, it's be interested. But only what we spoon feed you. After all, it's the cash you want. How hypocritical. You stir fans up by releasing videos but then you say, don't get too interested. It's called control. It worked on Star Trek into Darkness I guess. You controlled all the hype, denied (the correctly guessed Khan story) & presto... A hit movie. Only, the fans hated it. But that's because they didn't know anything about it. Especially how bad it was. By the way... Can I have my money back for that. I feel like I was ripped off when I paid to see that piece of garbage. Won't fall for that again though.

  • watbot | June 5, 2014 9:48 AMReply

    here's a solution. Stop reading those blogs and pics and wait like everyone else.

  • phaze | June 5, 2014 9:08 AMReply

    Seriously Kevin? Watch the freaking movies before attempting to write about it? I can't believe they would let you write this article. Any star wars fan sees right though this and picks up the sarcasm.

  • JohnnyW | June 5, 2014 6:49 AMReply

    Wow. Nobody got the JJ's joke.

  • hank | June 4, 2014 6:06 PMReply

    you missed the entire point of the twitter post. the note is inside the millennium falcon. there is no speculation, only sarcasm.

  • Gurks McGee | June 5, 2014 2:36 AM

    yeah totally. Thats the holo-chess board!

  • James M. | June 4, 2014 3:31 PMReply

    Star Trek nerds getting all up in a lather about a movie that doesn't come out for another 18 months. I'm sure these people have better things to do with their time? No?

    Wait, what? Oh, sorry. Star Trek...Star Wars. Same thing.

  • Craig | June 5, 2014 3:31 AM

    You just sent star wars and star trek fans into a frenzy with that comment either you dont know anything or you did it on purpose

  • hank | June 4, 2014 2:33 PMReply

    Disney has been leaking these photos to excite fans about the lack of CGI and focus on sets, etc. I think it's clear now that he's denying the existence of the millennium falcon in this film from inside the millennium falcon.

  • Jason | June 5, 2014 6:43 AM

    James M. it's called enjoying life. Many of us grew up with these movies, and they were fixtures of our early lives. If you can't appreciate that folks are anticipating these movies, and it is fun to speculate, then perhaps you are simply too serious of a person and need to learn to loosen up a bit.

  • Jeremy | June 4, 2014 2:27 PMReply

    This is so funny. What are they worried about. Oh I know. They're worried people are going to see it sucks & not want to see it. I mean let's face it, movies make most of their box office in the first few weeks. That's why they keep it all secret, then a few flashy trailers fool you into thinking it looks good. But it's easy for a trailer to make a movie look good. Case in point... The phantom menace. Very secret. But now I think we can all agree that it's not just the worst Star Wars movie, it's also just a terrible movie in general. But guess what... It's the most successful Star Wars movie of all time. So... What do you think. Is Abrams worried that he has another Star Trek into Darness on his hands. Kept that secret, fans hate it (voted worse Star Trek movie ever by Star Trek fans at a Star Trek convention) &... You guessed it. Most successful Star Trek movie ever. Concerned... You should be.

  • Monkey King | June 5, 2014 12:15 PM

    Jeremy... You are so on the money there. Was having a chat with a bunch of Star Wars nuts the other day. We all agree with you. It's only the sad bunch that are in denial about this. Especially those who quote the Phantom Menace.

  • Fred | June 5, 2014 4:46 AM

    Ayah, you've got it wrong: the hardcore Trekkies and Star Wars fans are only a small subset of the human race. Those of us that can go to a movie without crying over canon or being unable to move on from childhood memories are the vast majority. Ergo, we determine box office success - not a bunch of cellar dwelling freaks. Meesa-freaking-troll!!!!!

  • Bert | June 4, 2014 2:18 PMReply

    So here we have it. Pictures are leaked... But none of the main cast are in them... Odd. They are there after all. Abrams then posts this note. Looks like publicity machine to me. Really, why no images of the main cast. If you had a hidden camera, you would get images of them... Wouldn't you. It's all set up.

  • Jaimie | June 4, 2014 7:00 PM

    There's this little thing called "preproduction." You might have heard of it.

  • Mattheww | June 4, 2014 12:24 PMReply

    As a general rule Abrams should probably be more worried about the tweets people tweet *after* they see his films

  • Malaclyptic | June 4, 2014 12:11 PMReply

    The tweeted pic you're referencing has a unique background... it's the Millenium Falcon chessboard from the first Star Wars movie. I'm pretty sure J.J. is cool with all of it this time. He wants SW fans old and new to hop aboard as early as possible so Episode VII can make all the money, as has been pre-ordained.

  • j | June 4, 2014 12:08 PMReply

    Yeah, cut it out. It's such a waste of time. Find something more useful and constructive to do with yourselves.

  • Shawn Hambright | June 4, 2014 12:01 PMReply

    Yeah, I think he's definitely being silly here.

  • Scott | June 4, 2014 11:55 AMReply

    Though I'm sure Abrams is (rightfully) serious about stopping image leakage and maintaining an old school air of mystery about the production, I think he's winking a bit with that image (the note is strategically placed on the famous "hologram" game board in the Millennium Falcon).

  • Loz in Transit | June 4, 2014 12:06 PM

    J.J. Abrams is going to handle this intelligently. As the ultimately fanboy himself, he would have been in analogous situations as a fan anticipating movies back in his heyday.
    Fans are only ruining the experience for themselves, as an artist you'd want to minimise that for your audience. The studio on the other hand, their bottom line is $$$. Whatever hype machine maximises ticket sales is all that ultimately matters.

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