‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Set Images Reveal New Alien and Tatooine Marketplace

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star wars episode 7 image Star Wars: Episode 7 Set Images Reveal New Alien and Tatooine Marketplace

Director J.J. Abrams is well-known for his love of secrecy when it comes to his movies, but with Star Wars: Episode VII currently filming on location in Abu Dhabi with hundreds of people on-set, videos and photos were bound to leak eventually. Abrams somewhat pre-empted this by releasing the very first set video from Star Wars: Episode VII officially, revealing part of a Tatooine marketplace, but it was only a matter of time before less official images started making their way online.

Thanks to lead actor John Boyega documenting aspects of his working day on Instagram, we know that both he and Daisy Ridley are in Abu Dhabi for the first leg of filming, though its unclear how many of the other cast members also have scenes on the Tatooine set. Since an early casting call specified that the film’s leads would have street-smarts, it’s been speculated that the new heroes of the Star Wars franchise grew up in one of the rougher areas of Tatooine.

Abrams’ set video already showcased one of Tatooine’s more colorful residents, showing off some of the practical effects that are being used in the film, but now some new leaked set photos from Star Wars: Episode VII have emerged over at TMZ, revealing one of Tatooine’s larger alien species (pardon the humanocentrism). According to TMZ‘s sources, this beast was operated by five men inside its belly and appears in two scenes within the Tatooine marketplace. We didn’t recognize the species (it might be a new one), but perhaps one of you hardcore Star Wars fans will be able to identify it.




star wars episode 7 charity contest Star Wars: Episode 7 Set Images Reveal New Alien and Tatooine Marketplace

The photos also show some kind of machine that could be the engine for a pod racer, along with many merchants and residents of the Tatooine marketplace and a large structure that appears to be part gate, part building. The large alien looks like some kind of pack animal, but since it’s not carrying any packs it could also be sentient. Perhaps it’s just there to do a bit of window-shopping.

It’s certainly gratifying to see a practical set for a big-budget sci-fi movie, and it’s worth checking out these images closely to spot the extra details. A sign of the fence surrounding the marketplace says “Warning” in Galactic Basic Standard, and in some of the photos there is a fire with black smoke pouring out of it. A crash or explosion, perhaps?

After this first stretch of location shooting is complete, Star Wars: Episode VII will move to Pinewood Studios in London, at which point security around the production will become a lot tighter and set photos will be harder to come by. Enjoy these tidbits while you can.


Star Wars: Episode VII is out in theaters on December 18, 2015.

Source: TMZ

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  1. Good to see them getting back to practical effects!
    I have a “New Hope” that this may indeed be “The Return of the Jedi” in movie theaters!

    Then again… It IS F’n Disney….

    • Yeah… Disney…. Because the Marvel movies are all so terrible, right?

      • so you`re saying after 2 hours of mind numbing action a big bad alien ship is exploding? maybe even 2 of them? :D

    • Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Remember the Titans, most of their Pixar partnerships…F’n Disney, indeed.

      • I apologize, Iron Man predates the Disney partnership. There are any number of films that can replace it on the list, however.

    • Do you even realize what Disney owns? Good chance you watch something on TV every day that they own and you had no idea.

  2. These do look interesting. A few of those pictures reminded me of Jabba’s sail barge which was a cool practical set back in the day. Wonder what’s up with the black smoke?

  3. I’ll be there opening day but now I’m having trouble getting even a little bit excited.
    I have faith in Abrams and the cast looks awesome but atm it’s all a bit…. “meh”

  4. What is this?! Where’s the sound stage, where’s the green screen? These all look so fake! I can tell that these are just people in costumes and not realistic cartoon aliens!

  5. A big ass pig isn’t the most creative of designs, but since it’s practical and probably just a background creature I’ll give it a pass. ;)

  6. Good to see them get back to practical effects?

    They can’t get back to what they never left behind!!

    I guess some people will forever believe the myth that the PT was all CG. No matter how much evidence there is from people who worked on it, pictures of behind the scenes, videos etc etc.

    You know those line of podracers in TPM? All built and used on set in Tunisia. The town as well. The massive stadium? A massive miniature. The race and the course course? A mixture of miniatures, models, puppets, live action, background plates, Jake Lloyd in a pod on a gimble, mattes, etc etc etc. oh and CGI as well. It was ONE element.

    I find it so hilarious that people actually think that everything was CG. CG was good then but not that good or cheap.

    The people at Lucasfilm know that so many people buy the myth of the all-CG that throwing people bones of “practical” creatures is worth it’s weight in gold for publicity purposes. I mean you are never going to convince those people who want to believe the all-CG myth so you might as well feed into it and use it to convince them of the “truth” of the ST going back to practical effects.

    I’d do the same thing so when the movie comes out and they get hit will all this amazing CG then they’ll say to themselves “Well it was balanced with practical effects this time so I’m OK with it.”

    • You are talking about Episode I, which indeed still had a lot of practical effects. True. But you can’t ignore Episode II and III which ditched most of the practical stuff for completely synthetic sets. Hell, they didn’t even bother to build a costume for the clone troopers. Even when you see the clone trooper actor without his helmet, the body is full CGI.

    • What LostWinchester said. The action scenes in Attack of the Clones were devoid of tension because, frankly, they didn’t look real. The airspeeder chase, the droid factory, the arena and subsequent battle; none of them could be taken seriously because they looked patently fake. Revenge of the Sith upped its game in the CGI department, and I have to say it was easily the best of the prequels, but there were plenty of spots (especially the scenes inside the Invisible Hand and on Utapau) that were hopelessly lacking in life. They were simply unbelievable as real places that real people and droids existed in. Bring on the practical effects, please.

  7. “You are talking about Episode I, which indeed still had a lot of practical effects. True. But you can’t ignore Episode II and III which ditched most of the practical stuff for completely synthetic sets.”

    Sorry but you are wrong. There was no difference in the way the films were done in terms of the approach. Every single trick that Lucasfilm ever did on the OT was used again and again on the PT except that of course things were digitally composited not optically with film overlaying multiple images on the same piece of film. After I used film then was scanned they cut out the middle-man for II and III and went to digital capture.

    The point of the Clonetroopers is that how many people didn’t realize it wasn’t “real” I thought it was (meaning I guess they made a few and then digitally duplicated them) the ROTS troopers look even more amazing with the motion capture of actual soldiers. The Stormtroopers look pathehic in comparision.

    For the battle of Naboo they did all sorts of actual filming of large fields plus photos and then took those and reshaped them to look more fantastic in conjunction with mattes plus the CG of the Gungans and droids and minatures and models of the various tanks and droids etc. Complaning about that is like complaining that they didn’t build real walkers and bring them on location when shooting the Hoth scenes which were also a combination of plates, photos, mattes with models and miniatures.

    They couldn’t go to Kashyyk for III so what did they do? Models, miniatures, mattes, live action plates, Wookiees (in suits if that matters so much to you)plus CG.

    How can you do location filming on Mustafar? Corsucant? Kamino? You can’t go to these places to shoot. The largest ever miniture in the history of the Star Wars movies was? Mustafar.

    I suggest to anyone to watch the Within a Minute doc on the Ep III DVD. There is a great book called Star Wars 365 Days which has tons of behind the scenes photos and you can see the mass of sets that were fully built, mostly built all the way down to barely built (with the actors practically placed into the miniature built set).

    • Haha, he’s trolling. Yes, we understand that the prequels, especially episode 1, used a lot of miniatures and practical effects/sets. That doesn’t change the fact that the CGI used is pretty awful and takes you away from the moment when watching. They did right to use sets for pod racers but the minute you see the CGI 2-headed announcer, you cringe. The gungan battle was a cartoon. Jar Jar jumps around and flies around with no real sense of mass/gravity. It’s like a Wile-E coyote cartoon.

      • It has been well-over ten years since the release of Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, and yet we are still hearing the grievances and pathetic outcries of spoiled fanboys whom believe that practical effects and puppets are the sole elements that makes a movie great. But let us not speak for all the digital effects and green screens the Classic Trilogy has utilized since it was the Classic Trilogy whom popularized the digital effects and the green screens into the vast debacle of money-grabbing behemoths that is Hollywood. You know what! Why don’t we trash all the green screens to hell and rely on puppets and practical effects to tell the story of a galaxy far far away that is composed of fictional planets and outlandish space battles that is impossible to mimic without a god-damn green screen!

        Perhaps Phantom and Attack weren’t as grandiose as the Classic Trilogy and Revenge of the Sith, but at least it has served its purpose and its sole purpose was to entertain moviegoers and revive the fictional pinnacle of cinema that is Star Wars. If it weren’t for the Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars wouldn’t have attained the exact popularity and momentum it has endured for well-over thirty years and the Sequel Trilogy wouldn’t have been conceived of.

      • “Haha, he’s trolling. Yes, we understand that the prequels, especially episode 1, used a lot of miniatures and practical effects/sets. That doesn’t change the fact that the CGI used is pretty awful and takes you away from the moment when watching.”

        I’m not “trolling” in the least. I’m telling you the truth. The clear objective truth of the way the PT was actually made. It’s fact that you can choose to disbelieve if you wish. Won’t make what you believe true though.

        The “fact” that CGI used is awful and takes you away is not a fact at all. That is totally subjective on your part. It totally takes me into the story and the hard fact is that the PT helped changed the way films are made. Look at the Marvel movies, look at the Planet of the Apes look at any of the modern blockbusters. That is just the way films are made.

        Why some fans give the PT and Lucas grief for leading the way into the future just like he did on the OT I don’t know. So basically what you are saying is “Hey George the exact same thing that drove you to make Star Wars in the first place. Yeah don’t do that anymore. Don’t try to make VFX and sound and editing and everything else you’ve ever done to advance film-making.”

        Yeah just stop because you went far enough we don’t need it anymore. With that kind of thinking movies would still be in B&W with mono sound and 4:3 because it was fine so why do we need better?

  8. “The action scenes in Attack of the Clones were devoid of tension because, frankly, they didn’t look real. The airspeeder chase, the droid factory, the arena and subsequent battle; none of them could be taken seriously because they looked patently fake.”

    If they looked fake to you then there is nothing I can do about it. That is your perception. How the airspeeder chase is any more real than the speederbike chase in VI or the Death Star in IV or whatever I don’t know. Once again you had the actors in costume in fully built speeders acting in and stunting on them. The background was create by mattes, miniatures, models digitally combined and of course CG.

    I find the battle of Geonosis infintely superior to the batte of Hoth. No comparison really. Imagine how good the Hoth battle would be if they did it with today’s technology.

    • +1,000,000,000.

      Ryan, I agree with you 100%! It’s amazing how some people on here who have a sensible opinion get called trolls, because they’re opinion isn’t the popular one. God forbid we like the PT just as much as the OT. I guess we’re not real Star Wars fans! We’re trolls!

  9. This film is just going to be a homage to aka cut and paste of the originals. the iconic imagery of the black smoke on tatooine feels like a means to create nostalgia. damn tatooine is conveniently always the center of the universe in star wars do we have to visit it again? I would have just preferred a cameo in later episodes but that dusty rock just screams star wars I suppose.

  10. I hope they go back to useing Puppets agian that would be nice

  11. Spoiler Alert: The Blue Milk is Ortolan!

  12. Is this meant to be the big return to pratical creature effects that everyone s making a big song & dance about. Nope… Not getting a buzz about this at all. Very very very disappointing. Can we have cgi
    Now… All is forgiven.

  13. Worried… Looking very phantom menace. Rubbish Alien design.

  14. It is obvious these were leaked on purpose of set structures, extras and practical effects. And very awesome, we thank you!

  15. I know it’s kinda sacrilegous to say that but I DON’T want them to go back to physical sets and puppetery… Back in the late 70s / early 80s those pieces looked awesome for their time but those days are OVER, have been for a very very long time…

    While I DO agree that some of the CGI used on the PT absolutely looked fake (CGI back then was in a very early stage, only 5-6 years after Jurassic Park) but is that a reason to go back to puppetry?

    Maybe some CGI looks fake even today, but puppetry has always looked fake as well, to my eyes even worse than the worst CGI set piece on any of the PT. A huge rubber puppet with five people under it??? Really? In 2014???

    This sounds like an AWFUL idea to me and apart from some hardcore OT fans, today’s audiences will never ever accept that sort of throwback… But then, who would have though people are actually watching The Muppets again?

    Maybe I’m the only one totally opposed to puppetry… then again, The Muppets isn’t Star Wars… I’m itching to find out how this turns out. But I want it to be step into the future, not a nostalgic 80s revival for OT die-hards…

    • Idk dude, I don’t think it will all be puppetry. Set design and practical effects have also been refined since the 70′s – 80′s. Lucas just used CGI everywhere. Abrams is going to balance the practical effects with CGI. The difference for me is that CGI is fake no matter how good it looks, but puppets and practical effects are real.

  16. So Star Wars had cool creatures like the Rancor, the Wampa, the Dew Backs, the taun tauns, Jabba the Hutt, Yoda, the Banthas… The list goes on & on. The first creatures we see from episode 7 look like something out of Labyrinth & some theme park fibreglass pig creature. This is bad news. For crying out loud this thing is on the same level if not worse than those fat fart creatures in attack of the clones. I give up….

  17. I’m sorry but this looks horrible! Everyone looks so dirty, like they actually live in a desert. Where are the clean shiny sterile looking sets?
    They better have the walking talking, stop walking while talking scenes too. What’s with all these people wearing brown or black clothing? Shouldn’t they be wearing green cloths with little bulbs and stuff?

  18. I love the way people are bashing CG like it was the computers fault that the first 2 (and some would argue all 3) prequels sucked and lacked soul, completely forgetting that there have been plenty of cg heavy films where that has been far from the case.

    ALL 6 star wars films are filled with completely unrelateble characters and with some of the stalest dialogue ever written to boot (Lucas even admits he sucks at dialogue). The only reason why episodes 4-6 worked so well is it had one very relatable person in the core cast (Han Solo) he represented us on screen. We had no representation in the prequels, the closest those films came to having a relatable character was Obi Wan in episode 3 as McGregor was actually allowed to show some emotion towards the end of that film

  19. Wow, check out that pignoceros, or whatever the hell it’s supposed to be.


  20. Its great to see there are others out there defending the Prequels. Almost every complaint people have for the PT can easily be shot back at the OT; whether it be characters, dialogue, effects, and what have you.

    IMO Episode III had everything I ever wanted to see in a SW film; epic battles in space, across multiple planets, more than one lightsaber fight that also affected the rest of the saga, incredible music and effects, I could go on. I know I’ll be seeing Episode VII and beyond, but I think SW already reached its peak.

    In all honesty, the practical effects from the OT really look basic now; why that automatically spells “superior” to CG I’ll never know. The AT-ATs look obviously stop-motion, Yoda acts too much like a muppet, all the ships look like miniatures, a lot of obvious blue screen footage (gasp!) on Tatooine in RotJ’s Sail barge scene, etc. The rose-tinted glasses OT-diehards cling ever-so-close to their face is truly fascinating.

    • For all the flaws of the OT, the films had a good story. Not so with the prequels.

  21. Looks cack.

  22. I think we all agree that a proper mix of CGI and Practical effects will be needed for Episode 7 to be a success. Look no further than Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek. He used real sets and props but used CGI only when necessary. This is the same approach for Episode 7. Don’t worry. The movie is in good hands

  23. “For all the flaws of the OT, the films had a good story. Not so with the prequels.”

    You’re right. The PT merely was a great story not just a good one.

    “I think we all agree that a proper mix of CGI and Practical effects will be needed for Episode 7 to be a success.”

    That’s my point though. A proper mix is exactly what the PT did. Some people just won’t believe it. BTW they were successful.

    “The only reason why episodes 4-6 worked so well is it had one very relatable person in the core cast (Han Solo) he represented us on screen.”

    Actually Luke is clearly the audience relation point on screen. There is a Han in the PT. His name is Anakin Skywalker. Cocky, conceited, girl chasing etc etc. The only major difference is that we met Han when he was older and learned more.

    “I’m sorry but this looks horrible! Everyone looks so dirty, like they actually live in a desert. Where are the clean shiny sterile looking sets?”

    You mean like the Death Star and other Empire locations? Cloud City? The nice shiny snowbase on Hoth?

    This is one of the most ridiculous assertions that gets thrown out over and over. Are there no beautiful places on our own lived in world? Of course there are. The basis for Star Wars in the first place visually was Flash Gordon. Look it up sometime.

  24. It’s so funny how so many basement dwelers crawl out of their Dianooga pits and bash the PT and the CG effects. Thet pretend they are all high and mighty with a keen eye to spot everything that is real and everything that is computer generated. What’s worst, they whine about CG not being realistic and that the OT was way superior in effects. Have any of you ever seen the making of the OT? How many paintings and unreal effects were used? Do you guys know? To make it worst all of you whine and cry but when the new movies come out you guys are the very first in line to see the movies about thirteen times so that then you can use your supreme brains to analize them and after seeing the movie so many times you then come to the conclusion that they sucked. For real? As a few fans here pointed out, the PT has many more awesome things in terms of effects than the OT does because the CG effects and more advanced technology make them so lifelike. I am a huge fan of the OT since I grew up with it but do any of you guys even remember guys like Zuckuss, 4-LOM and IG88? Do any of you remember what happened to the first Dewback? Sy Snootles? Amanaman? Do you really believe these creatures wouldn’t have been awesome if some CGI were used to animate them? Have you guys ever taken a close look at Tessek or Beedo’s hands in ROTJ? Or do any of you recal how fake Cloud City was before the evil CG effects of the special edition transformed them and Bespin look awesome? Sarlacc? Rancor? Wampa? I could go on and on! In the case of the Dewback, just look how fantastic and realistic they were in the special editions! Or do you guys prefer the extremly far, hardly seen mechanical Dewback from back then? Why don’t all you Disney/PT haters just go watch something else if everything SW that comes out doesn’t meet your supreme expectations? Bla bla bla the PT actors sucked, the romance was to badly acted, the CG effects ruined the movie, Lucas doesn’t know how to direct….. on and on you whine just to see the new movies a thousand times when they come out and beguin your cycle all over again. I really do wish that Disney and Lucas should spend some time reading these blogs cause they don’t know how many awesome directors and supreme special effects guys are on here! Who needs guys like Lucas, Coppola, Peter Jackson or Spielberg who just make so many mistakes when we can get all the awesome keen eyed masive ultra neat effect making Dianooga Goblins here on this blog that would make a ultra cool awesome Star Wars movie that would put every one of those directors to shame!

  25. This movie is not going to work. They are hoping bank on nostalgia. But in this Transformers generation this puppet show would not work. They should have rebooted it with with the state of the art film making ang CGI. Maybe I am wrong, but this is what it seems to me right now.

    • My friend, this is Star Wars we are talking about! There is no way this movie isn’t going to work and when I say this, I’m not saying that Star Wars can never go wrong but just take a little time to think. Look at the Phanthom Menace for example. To many people that movie is considered the weakest of the SW movies and tons of fans say they hated it. Well here’s what wikipedia shows us:

      Box office performance

      Despite its mixed critical reception, The Phantom Menace was a financial success, breaking many box office records in its debut. It broke The Lost World: Jurassic Park’s records for the largest single-day gross for taking more than US$28 million in the opening day and fastest to gross US$100 million in five days. It also became the quickest film to reach the US$200 million and US$300 million marks, surpassing Independence Day and Titanic respectively. The Phantom Menace was 1999′s most successful film, earning US$431,088,295 in North America and US$493,229,263 in other territories, taking US$924,317,558 worldwide. At that time, the film was the third-highest-grossing film in North America behind Titanic and Star Wars, and the second-highest-grossing film worldwide behind Titanic without adjusting for inflation of ticket prices. When adjusted for ticket price inflation, it ranked as the 19th-highest-grossing film domestically, making it the fourth Star Wars film to be in the Inflation-Adjusted Top 20. Outside North America, the film grossed over US$10 million in Australia (US$25.9 million, Brazil (US$10.4 million), France and Algeria (US$43 million), Germany (US$53.9 million), Italy (US$12.9 million), Japan (US$109.9 million), Mexico US$12 million), Spain (US$25 million), and the United Kingdom and Ireland (US$81.9 million).

      Isn’t this hard coming from a movie that almost every SW fan says he/she hates? Even the 3D re-release in 2012 exceeded 1 billion US$. How could it make so much money after years of being bashed by fans and critics? Aren’t the people who hate it not suposed to go watch it? Well my friend, read my coment just on top of yours and you might get an idea of what I am talking about. Saddly, there is a huge group of Star Wars fans who will always whine and cry saying the movie sucked only to be first in line when the next one comes out. They watch the new movie tons of times and then go online to whine about this or that. How many times have I heard people crying about how SW is no going to suck cause Disney is going to make it but I just know that these whiners are the same basement dweling Dianoogas who camp out days in front of the theatre just to watch the movie. And about your coment on the puppets and Transformers, you do know that the very same company that makes those ”puppets” is the same company who makes those awesome Transformers you so love right?

  26. “Isn’t this hard coming from a movie that almost every SW fan says he/she hates? ”

    No. Not at all. That is coming from the fan people who hate it that tell everyone else that isn’t a fan that all fans hate it. The mainstream media is full of mindless sheep who go with the flow of what the most vocal tell them.

    These are the same media people who believe that the PT was all CG because that’s what they’ve been told, these are the same people who believe Lucas is some control freak who surrounded himself with yes men because that’s what they’ve been told.

    None of these things is true. The thing that the PT haters can’t wrap their heads around is the long term and sustained success of the PT and the generation of fans it created along with TCW. What confound many of them even more is that they actually like TCW a lot and wonder why the PT wasn’t more like that. They also can’t believe that TCW was actually steered by Lucas.

    Their faulty conclusion is that anything that is good in Star Wars can’t be from Lucas and that it’s from other people anyone but him. Part of this is also fueled by the combination of the SE’s and the non-release of the original cuts.

    There is no way around the success of TPM with the public.

    • So true my friend!