Star Wars : Episode VII Abu Dhabi filming details

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Filming for “Star Wars : Episode VII” is reportedly scheduled for Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, said to be playing the role of the Skywalker’s home planet, ‘Tattooine’.

According to The National, not only have cast and crew landed – but so have some interesting-looking bits of architecture.

Our sources also report that the sets are getting closer to completion, with a “whole world” having been built on an otherworldly salt lake at one location, a “shuttle-like” spacecraft, a large tower, a “big, centuries-old-looking market”, something the crew are reportedly referring to as the “alien house” and 10 to 15 “really fast buggies” powered by jet engines (landspeeders of Tatooine fame from the previous films, perhaps?)

We have also been told that two lorries of explosives have been brought to one of the sites under high security and that a blast crater has been created. So, it looks like the action in Abu Dhabi could be set to feature a major battle or spacecraft crash of some description.

We also learnt that a group of technicians from the United Kingdom and Los Angeles are currently on site applying the finishing touches before the shoot begins and that some, unnamed, members of the cast are already here and have been out in the dunes practising driving the vehicles they’ll be using when filming begins.

With some of the crew already here (a source told us they checked into an Abu Dhabi hotel on Tuesday) and the main shoot expected to last until at least the end of the month (almost three weeks – and possibly longer depending on hitches such as sandstorms delaying shooting), it certainly looks as if Abu Dhabi is set to play a major role in the new movie. Disney’s chairman Alan Horn’s recent remarks that “We did some second-unit work in Abu Dhabi” may have been a slight understatement.

The film, starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, Max Von Sydow, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, and Oscar Isaac, is due for release December 2015.