Like an Imperial probe droid, personally owned drones caused quite a problem on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They were spotted flying over various shooting locations, making it even more difficult for director J.J. Abrams to keep everything locked in his infamous mystery box. He did a pretty good job of keeping all of the actors away from the prying eyes of these robotic paparazzi machines, but the occasional image or photo did eventually leak onto the Internet, as we saw over the course of last year. Speaking before a screening of his new film Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mark Hamill offered a sense of what his daily routine was like on Star Wars 7, as he set out to reprise his iconic role as Jedi master Luke Skywalker.
"You know, the security on it is just crazy. I'm surprised I can even admit I'm in it! ...I like being surprised. It's a whole different era now. When we made the original films, you had the odd reporter hanging around the studio bribing people to give them stories. Now, I said to them, 'Do I really have to wear this robe and this hood that covers my entire head to go from the trailer to the soundstage?' They said, 'Yeah, there's drones.' Seriously! There's drones flying over the studio trying to get pictures of whatever they can get pictures of."
He compared working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens to his days making the first sequel Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. Back then, the security wasn't so tight. But they did run into the occasional snafu:
"We had a little of that on 'Empire Strikes Back'. We were up in Finse, Norway and [someone] bribed a couple of emergency helicopter pilots that were looking for a couple that were stranded while skiing to buzz-bomb our set and take pictures. They appeared in the newspaper The Sun. They didn't get much. They had pictures of snowmobiles and they wrote 'Strange, alien machinery on the set of 'Star Wars 2′!' as they called it. It was crazy! It was just snowmobiles with really identifiable logos on the side."
By now, we all know that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actors can't really offer any insight to the actual story. Mark Hamill did, however, have this to say about coming back to the franchise:
"The most interesting aspect from my point of view is that [Star Wars] is now in the hands of the generation who were fans. It's the next generation of filmmakers who were sort of weened on these pictures."