How Star Wars: The Last Jedi director prevented leaks with MacBook Air

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Star Wars
A long time ago, on a MacBook far, far away.
Photo: Disney

Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson turned to the Mac to help him keep his top-secret screenplay under wraps.

According to a new interview with the filmmaker, Johnson used a dedicated, “air-gapped” MacBook Air while working on the latest installment in the Star Wars saga.

“I typed Episode VIII out on a MacBook Air,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “For security it was ‘air-gapped’ — never connected to the internet. I carried it around and used it for nothing except writing the script. I kept it in a safe at Pinewood Studios. I think my producer was constantly horrified I would leave it in a coffee shop.”

This insight isn’t the only tangential bit of information connecting Apple with the new Star Wars movies. Last year, Apple and Disney teamed up for an augmented reality-based Star Wars promotion, in which fans could download the Star Wars app to their iPhones, then visit Apple Stores to “find” characters like Rey, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren by scanning QR Codes.

More notably, Apple design chief Jony Ive revealed in a profile that The New Yorker published back in 2015, that he helped inspire the appearance of the lightsabers in the new movies.

“I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty,” Ive said, noting how his ideal lightsaber would be “more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”

Due to his friendship with director J.J. Abrams, he was in the right place to have his ideas listened to.