We talk a lot about J.J. Abrams and his love of the "Mystery Box," and the director's love of keeping secrets was met with a delicate balance of Disney marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the course of the last 18 months or so. For the most part, Disney and Abrams were able to report what they wanted, when they wanted, unveiling information at their own pace despite a vicious (sometimes accurate) rumor mill.
In the end, The Force Awakens managed to escape with very little in the way of leaks from on-set spies, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The film was sometimes plagued by spy drones flying over the film's UK locations in an effort to capture whatever they could on the ground. Apparently, that was enough to convince the production to explore some kind of on-set drone detection system, and Episode VIII could be taking the next step in that direction.
According to the Croatian Star Wars site MosCroatia, Episode VIII is headed to that country to film scenes in the popular tourist town of Dubrovnik. Headed out for location filming, particularly in populated areas, is always a risk for a big production like this, and that means the production is taking some serious measures to prevent spying. Based on a translation of the report by MakingStarWars, Episode VIII could be deploying as many as 600 guards to keep out curious onlookers, and they may even be deploying drones of their own to combat spy drones attempting flyovers.
"There is a special team with drones that will remove the uninvited drones so that no recording can be conducted by the public," according to MakingStarWars' translation.
On the surface, that sounds like fun for anyone who gets to operate those security drones, but this raises some interesting questions. How do you "remove" these drones? Do you somehow politely ask them to leave? Do you catch them in some kind of net and fly them away? Do you just knock them out of the sky, and if so, how do you deal with lawsuits from people claiming you wantonly destroyed their private property in the name of movie-making?
Whatever the case, and however this shoot actually turns out, one thing is clear: Lucasfilm is taking spoiler prevention very seriously.