Normally, seeking out information on a J.J. Abrams film ahead of its theatrical release is a bit like trying to extract a Rancor’s teeth – we’ve never tried the latter, but we imagine it’s very difficult, and it lets us segue to talking about Star Wars: Episode VII and the new details that’ve been unveiled this week. Yesterday alone, several photos taken from the film’s Abu Dhabi set were released online; on top of that, we got an update concerning two additional female cast members for the space adventure blockbuster.
The majority of the Episode VII shoot is going to take place in London, on sound stages at the Pinewood studios where previous live-action Star Wars movies were filmed in decades past. There’ve been rumors and speculation about what practical set pieces are being constructed for the project, with the most noteworthy claim being that a “full-scale 1:1 Millennium Falcon” – Han Solo’s famous spaceship (or a piece of junk, if you ask Luke) – had been built off-site and moved over to Pinwood, ahead of principal photography on Episode VII getting underway.
TMZ, which also premiered the most recent Episode VII set images from Abu Dhabi, has unveiled a new collection of Star Wars set photos, revealing what, beyond all but a shadow of a doubt, is a Millennium Falcon set piece under construction. In addition, the new images show an X-Wing fighter practical set being assembled together, along with a look at the unfinished version of the immense, boar-like creature that was glimpsed in yesterday’s photo collection (one that is reportedly being operated by five people and will be walking around a Tatooine marketplace in Abrams’ film).
Rumor has it that Han (Harrison Ford) has a fairly large role to play in the Episode VII proceedings; if so, then it would make sense for a proper Millennium Falcon set to be built, seeing how Han’s beloved ship presumably won’t just be featured in the film in the background and/or with a cameo for nostalgic purposes. One possibility is that franchise newcomer Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness) is playing Han and Leia’s daughter, who receives some assistance from her old man (and perhaps even “Uncle” Chewbacca) in the film – which includes, getting a ride in Han’s equivalent of a prized antique car.
Other members of the new generation of heroes/villains being introduced in Episode VII include John Boyega (Attack the Block) – who is filming scenes in Abu Dhabi with Ridley currently – as well as the likes of Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), among others. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that one of these individuals could wind up piloting said X-Wing fighter in the film – though, it’s also certainly possible that the elder Luke (Mark Hamill) will be the one getting (back) in the cockpit.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015.