Spare a thought for Rian Johnson.
For two long years, the writer-director was placed in control of The Last Jedi, during which time he was forced to walk on eggshells in order to shield the story of his Star Wars sequel from the prying eyes of the public.
Against all odds, Johnson managed to achieve the impossible, as most, if not all of The Last Jedi‘s major twists (see: Luke’s Force projection and subsequent death, Rey’s parentage, Leia’s spaceflight) remained under wraps. His secret? Unplugging from the Internet and using that time to work on The Last Jedi‘s script in isolation. Chatting to The Wall Street Journal (via Heroic Hollywood), here, Johnson lets us in on his little secret:
I typed Episode VIII out on a MacBook Air. For security it was “air-gapped”—never connected to the internet. I carried it around and used it for nothing except writing the script. I kept it in a safe at Pinewood Studios. I think my producer was constantly horrified I would leave it in a coffee shop.
A clever strategy from Rian Johnson, as working offline ensured his screenplay was kept safe on an “air-gapped” MacBook Air, before being stowed away in the vaults of Pinewood Studios. Combating leaks and unsolicited spoilers is a very real problem for Hollywood’s studios, particularly for a franchise with a big, impassioned following like Star Wars.
To his credit, Johnson’s precautions paid off dividends, as moviegoers were treated to a carefully thought-out spectacle featuring heroes old and new. And after anchoring The Last Jedi with their nuanced, often fiery dynamic, Kylo Ren and Rey will presumably come to blows for the final time in 2019, when Lucasfilm and Disney will have all hands at the pump in anticipation of Episode IX. Expect that one to take flight on December 20th, 2019.