By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
“It’s a bold new world. The First Order deploys aerial forces to repel the Resistance…” Sounds like the first line in the crawl of Star Wars: Episode VIII? Well, it could be. But in a case of life imitating art, news has come out that Disney will be spending upwards of $4 million dollars to deploy attack drones over the location of the new Star Wars film to repeal any unwanted UAVs that may be loitering overhead.
Reporting with set photos from a Star Wars: Episode VIII location in Croatia, Nerdist News commented that the images were all shown at ground level, and not from a drone which had managed to fly over the set in Great Britain and got some amazing images of the Resistance Base.
“There’s drones flying over the studio trying to get pictures of whatever they can get pictures of,” Mark Hamill told Coming Soon during Episode VII filming (you may recall this). That’s leading Disney to take some drastic action.
Citing a report on the website MosCroatia.com, Nerdist News host Jessica Chobot said that Disney is serious about not having the same thing happen in Croatia during the filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII.
To that end, The Mouse House has convinced the Croatian government to allow the production location to deploy a small army of 600 security guards. They will also have their own fleet of drones that will gain aerial superiority over the set and prevent fans and media types alike from capturing any images from the sky.
That’s right, we are seeing the first use of a drone in a defensive capacity by a private entity. “There is a special team of drones that will remote the uninvited UAVS,” states a translation of the website, “so that no recording can be conducted by the public.”
Chobot goes on to speculate that we could see drone-on-drone’ style dogfights over the skies of the Croatian location. I’m not too thrilled with that idea, but it was inevitable that some company would seek to use drones in a defensive capacity, and I bet they will likely become standard issue on any big-budget Hollywood Film.
But they really don’t have to do that. First off, it would be dangerous as taking down a drone would cause a safety issue, should the UAV plummet out of the skies. But what Disney could do is equip those security guards with that electronic ‘drone rifle’ we reported on last fall.
Called the Drone Defender, the ‘rifle’ fires a kind of radio pulse wave that allows them to take control of the drone and force it down. With a 400 meter range, the Drone Defender can easily target the offending UAV and bring it down safely. Then they can seize the UAV and turn it over to local authorities. That would be far safer than having a drone dogfight that could end up hurting someone on the ground.
Still, if Disney does decide to go all First Order, the least they could do is hire French drone enthusiast Oliver C to design them. Oliver loves to create themed UAVs and he’s got a playlist of over a dozen different drones that not only look like Star Wars X-Wings and TIE fighters, but they also fly like the real deal, too. Check out the video below:
Oliver has even built his own drone style Star Destroyer and Millenium Falcon. With these, Disney could really make Chobot’s prophecy come true. All they’d have to do is man them with paint balls and as Chobot put it: “It’s like a mini Star Wars above Star Wars!”
Star Wars: Episode VIII is filming now, and opens December 15, 2017.