In a recent interview Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy had some interesting things to say about secrecy and Star Wars mainly relating to how fans are an integral part of the franchise and “there are things you’re gonna want to make sure they get to know.” That would seem to be at odds with the modus operandi of director J.J. Abrams, which is basically not telling fans anything.
But Abrams isn’t in control now: Disney is. So will Episode VII be less hush-hush? Not so fast, says producer Bryan Burk.
Asked in an interview with /Film whether Abrams might ease up on the secrecy for Episode VII, Burk said:
Well [Kennedy and I] haven’t had those conversations, but I’m sure she would agree, and by the way having grown up watching all of her movies, you know… 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’… 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.
It’s like a magic trick and there’s nobody who wants to know how all of the magic tricks are done more than me. Then the second I learn how they are done, it’s like “Oh” and it kind of goes away… I think people who are desperate to find out what’s going on with Star Wars as we move forward are going to find out what’s happening with it. It’s just you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.”
His point about balance is good, but at the same time… this isn’t a J.J. Abrams movie. It’s Star Wars. There doesn’t need to be a huge secret. There was the “I am your father” twist in The Empire Strikes Back, sure, but I’d hazard a guess that that wasn’t a twist to the majority of today’s Star Wars fans, just because they knew about it beforehand. (I did. I’m pretty sure I saw Jedi before Empire, actually.) Twists get blown up into these big things nowadays when they didn’t in the pre-Internet era, and there’s a huge risk of that backfiring. (Looking at you, Star Trek Into Darkness. For all the true identity of the Cumbervillain was hyped up, I thought the villain part of the movie wasn’t all that great, to be honest.)
That said, even if there’s not some twist there’s still going to be general plot information that some people will want to have and some people won’t. Burk’s attitude here seems to be “People are going to uncover spoilers, but I don’t have to like it.”
I’ll be curious to see how this pans out. I’m sure ultimately it’ll come down to Disney. The Mouse House is a well-oiled machine.