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Director J.J. Abrams won’t tell whose carelessness led to lost ‘Star Wars’ script

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" director J.J. Abrams revealed that an actor accidentally leaked the script. Foreground, left to right: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac.

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By CHRISTI CARRAS | Los Angeles Times | Published: November 26, 2019

A long time ago, in a galaxy online called eBay, an early script for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” went up for sale thanks to one actor’s thoughtless actions.

According to director J.J. Abrams, disaster struck when one of the holiday tentpole’s stars left a real script for the project under their hotel room bed — a simple mistake that later morphed into Disney’s worst nightmare.

“The security is insane,” Abrams said Monday on “Good Morning America.” “They were really nervous about anything getting out, and so they had only a handful of scripts, and they were printed on crazy, uncopy-able paper. And then one of our actors, I won’t say which one — I want to, but I won’t — left it under their bed and it was found by someone who was cleaning their room. And it was given to someone else, who then went to sell it on EBay.”

Luckily, crisis was averted when someone at Disney identified the script on the internet as legitimate and purchased it from the seller before anyone else could. The studio giant has succeeded in keeping details about the highly anticipated conclusion to the new trilogy under wraps ahead of its Christmastime debut.

During the morning show conversation, Abrams also commented on how the “Rise of Skywalker” team worked to perfect the movie via extensive reshoots as late as October, as well as how they managed to bring Carrie Fisher’s Leia back to life.

Though Fisher died before the release of “The Last Jedi,” the filmmakers were able to repurpose takes from the cutting-room floor of “The Force Awakens” to continue her character’s story until the very end.

“It was impossible for us to figure out how to tell the end of the Skywalker saga without Leia,” Abrams said. “We went back and looked at the footage and realized we could tell the story — we could create scenes with her. But we did it in a really interesting way, where we used her footage, and then everything we did in the scene was built around, written around, lit around what we had of her. And there are some scenes with her that are, I think, really moving, and it’s still impossible for me to believe she’s not here. ... She’s Leia in this movie. It’s sort of surreal.”

“The Rise of Skywalker,” which will complete the revival leg of the franchise starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, hits theaters Dec. 20.

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