One of the biggest upcoming film projects cloaked in secrecy is the final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy, with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams returning bring the Skywalker saga to a close. However, franchise veteran Mark Hamill has shared some of the painstaking steps taken to ensure that every aspect of Episode IX is kept under wraps until the studio is ready to reveal them.
After revealing that he has yet to film most of his scenes for the upcoming movie due out next year, Hamill broke down all the precautions put in place to ensure a spoiler-free Star Wars experience. He reflected on how freely he was able to pass the script of A New Hope along to friends for their reading pleasure, but how times have changed in the last 40-plus years.
"Nowadays it’s like working for some secret deep state government organization, like being in the CIA," Hamill said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "They’re going to send rewrites over to Prague [where Hamill is on set for History's Knightfall] on this dark red paper that gives you a headache to read.”
That red paper is designed to prevent people from making copies of the script, as anyone who tries to will be rewarded with an illegible, dark piece of paper. (Take that, spoiler seekers.)
When Hamill says that "they're going to send rewrites over," he doesn't mean by mail or raven. No, an executive from Disney will actually fly the rewrites over to Hamill personally and wait for him to read them over before taking the script back with him. Unlike on The Force Awakens, cast members of Episode IX are not allowed to keep a paper script for themselves, for fear it will somehow fall into the wrong hands.
“They’re going to come and give it to me and wait for me to read it before I give it back. So no pressure!" Hamill said. "You can’t even keep it overnight. But that’s the way it is now.”
Hamill expressed his disappointment in the new, airtight process of dealing with movie scripts, but understands the precautions. Hamill described himself as a visualist who likes to make notes on his scripts, but will be unable to do that for this film. He was able to do so for The Last Jedi, but explained to EW that he had to lock the script in a safe every night and take it with him wherever he went.
The secrets of Episode IX are being held closer to the chest than the true heritage of Luke Skywalker. For anyone looking to reveal any spoilers for the film, best of luck.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode IX stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film is scheduled to open on Dec. 20, 2019.