The internet didn’t have as big of a presence as it does now and all of the story beats were kept by one man: George Lucas himself.
But now there is a whole story group of writers and multiple filmmakers and different media across multiple companies—there’s a lot of room for loose lips. But Lucasfilm has since established protocol to keep key details under wraps.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Gary Whitta recently revealed some details during a spotlight panel at Salt Lake Comic Con’s FanX 2017 (via the Good Men Project), illustrating the many different precautions Lucasfilm takes when dealing with creative aspects of future films.
“Working for Lucasfilm is like working for the CIA,” Whitta revealed.
Whitta relayed a story about how he got the gig to write the Rogue One script. Lucasfilm SVP for Development Kiri Hart contacted him and informed him a password-protected document was being sent over.
After receiving the document, he’d get an phone call with a 16-digit passcode to unlock it. Whitta remained in his house for most of the day anticipating the call except for five minutes—that’s when the call came. He ran back inside ony to find a voicemail saying they’d try calling again on Monday.
Whitta said he “spent the whole weekend bouncing off walls” and even tried to guess the document’s passcode to no avail.
When he finally got the call and the password, Whitta unlocked the document only to find that the project was for a feature film, a project that would eventually become Rogue One.
Rogue One is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
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A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in ‘Star Wars’ anthology film, Rogue One.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star.