When it comes to spoilers, commenters from all corners of the internet are quick to demonize whoever leaks precious plot details, but when it comes to J. J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars VII, we can’t seem to help ourselves.


Anticipating our feverish need for insider info, Star Wars heads at Pinewood Studios, a English film studio and current keeper of mountains Star Wars’ spoilers, anticipated that sneaky UAVs would be a problem. Back in 2004, when Revenge of the Sith was filming, commercial drones were not nearly as prolific as they are now, so in order to detect incoming rebels, the studio tried to purchase a “DroneShield” earlier this summer before the leaks even started happening, according to Motherboard.

What exactly is a DroneShield? Well, here’s a description from the company’s website:


DroneShield warns installations to the presence of drones through an enterprise-grade sensor network and alerting architecture that integrates easily with existing security systems and accelerates the apprehension and prosecution of violators through real-time warning and digital evidence collection.

Our patent-pending acoustic detection technology results in high detection rates with low false alarms and is able to detect drones without RF links (IE on auto-pilot) or that are invisible to radar (most small, plastic drones are). Each DroneShield contains a database of common drone acoustic signatures so false alarms are reduced (IE ignores lawn mowers and leaf blowers) and in many cases the type of drone is also included in the alert.

And here’s the physical evidence supporting the studios’ drone hunting schemes:

Unfortunately, there was a thermal exhaust port-shaped flaw in their plans. According to a DroneShield rep, the order never went through due to export restrictions. Unfortunately for them (and wonderfully for us), the producers were right to be worried. This summer has seen a complete avalanche of airborne spying despite the crew’s openness to providing short teaser videos and images to satiate our cravings.

Of course drones have only been part of the problem as people equipped with telephoto lenses have also snapped a few teaser pics. Perhaps, we were just meant to see these images. Maybe it was the will of the Force. [Motherboard]