Personal drones are all the fad among hobbyists and extreme sports fans, but while they can make short work of filming yourself or others remotely and from any angle, they are apparently useful for less innocent purposes as well. This is something Pinewood Studios, where the much-awaited Star Wars Episode VII is being filmed, found out the hard way. Now they’re trying to find ways to keep those drones away and unfortunately are coming up rather empty.
The latest leaks of the Star Wars set were taken by a drone hovering above the studio’s property, unauthorized of course. This has led to blurry pics of what looks like an X-Wing as well as a half of the Millennium Falcon. Naturally, Pinewood isn’t amused. But they seem to have been well aware of the potential dangers of drones flying in the area, so much so that they have actually put in an order for something called “DroneShield”.
DroneShield is capitalizing on the growing drone market by offering a way to block them. Or technically just a way to warn DroneShield users that a drone is approaching the area, giving them enough time to take cover or cover up something. It doesn’t seem to be actually capable of actively blocking out drones or knocking them off networks, which might be illegal in some cases, anyway. It does keep a log of all data so that it can be used for legal purposes. Like lawsuits.
Unfortunately, Pinewood hit against one of the most powerful and most wicked forces in the universe: red tape. Being based in the US, DroidShield needs an export permit to ship to Pinewood Studios in the UK. According to a company representative, DroidShiled filed for an export application in May and still haven’t received approval to this day.
Long story short, Star Wars Episode VII remains vulnerable not to the onslaught of the Sith but of portable remote controlled aerial robots. Hopefully Pinewood will be able to find some other recourse, one that doesn’t have to come from a galaxy far, far away, much less from across the pond. Then again, how can one keep something as big as Star Wars under wraps in this day and age anyway?