‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Shooting Location Suggests a Return to Tatooine

Published 1 year ago by

Star Wars Tatooine suns Star Wars: Episode VII Shooting Location Suggests a Return to Tatooine

If we’d been told around this time two years ago that Disney had bought Star Wars and intended to add a new trilogy to the franchise, we would have dismissed it as a weak and unconvincing April Fool’s joke. The project is very real, however, and after well over a year in development, Star Wars: Episode VII will begin filming in just a few short weeks.

Director J.J. Abrams has expressed unhappiness at the prospect of being forced to move to the UK for the duration of production, saying that the studio decision to continue the Star Wars tradition of shooting in London studiosreally does make me insane.”┬áNot everything can be filmed inside the confines of a studio, however, and the latest news regarding Star Wars‘ locations reveals that production will kick off a lot further afield.

Badass Digest reports several sources citing May 14th as the official start date for filming on Star Wars: Episode VII (which correlates with what we’ve heard before), and that production will begin with two weeks on location in Morocco, plus a possible trip to Tunisia as well. The latter was the original setting used to double for Tatooine, home planet of the Skywalkers, and some of the sets that were built still remain as weathered monuments to the making of the films.

Tatooine in Star Wars prequels Star Wars: Episode VII Shooting Location Suggests a Return to Tatooine

Much of what we have heard about the plot of Star Wars: Episode VII remains unconfirmed speculation, and with so many rumors flying around, it’s hard to tell which ones might be closest to the truth. However, it seems very likely that Disney’s new trilogy will include another member of the Skywalker family or, at the very least, another hero with humble origins.

As origins go, Tatooine certainly is humble, but there’s no telling what might have changed in the 30 years since the end of Return of the Jedi. Badass Digest suggests that Abrams could ┬ápotentially use some of the remaining dilapidated sets as a tribute to the original trilogy as well as an easy way of creating a Tatooine that looks like it’s been through some wear and tear, though there’s no indication that this is actually the plan.

Even with the start of filming just six weeks away, it remains a mystery exactly which actors will be heading out to Morocco or assembling at Pinewood studios. After extensive searches – including an open casting – there is now a shortlist of actors who could potentially play the male lead, and Adam Driver (Girls) is reportedly set to play the new villain.

Dozens more actors – including Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Saoirse Ronan – have been rumored for roles, but Disney has mostly opted for silence on the matter of casting and, well, just about everything else. It looks like the producers ultimately decided to favor secrecy over spoilers.


Star Wars: Episode VII will arrive in theaters on December 18, 2015.

Source: Badass Digest

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I wished they’d just come out and announce something officially. Anything. I enjoy some good speculation but its way past time they give us an official image, casting announcement, story beats or something. I loved Star Trek Into Darkness but I agree that the bullsh*t secrecy hurt it.

    • I’m with you on that. I’m tired of the rumors. This movie comes out in the summer of 2015 and NOTHING official has been announced. It’s definitely way past the time to announce something real instead of all reading the plethora of rumors.

      • EDIT; December 2015. I forgot they moved it for that month.

    • @ The Insufferable Deadpool & Aaron

      I agree with you both.
      This is the first time I’ve even clicked on and article about the movie in a long while. Over the past few months I’ve read the headlines and then moved on waiting to see something “confirmed” but almost a year and a half later and we still don’t know squat…

      I’m not saying I want or need to know every detail about the movie but with a little over a month left before filming all we know is that Abrams isn’t a fan of filming in Europe. :(

      I also agree with you about “Into Darkness” the secrecy around that film was absolutely ridiculous and I do believe was a factor in the less than expected reception. Hopefully Disney doesn’t let Abrams make the same mistakes with Episode 7.

  2. First off, I hope that we’re done with Tatooine. I mean seriously, how much can happen on one little podunk planet? However, I doubt that this is the case. The establishing shots of Geonosis were also shot in Tunisia, so it could just as easily be that or some other planet after all the CG elements are added.

  3. How exactly do they intend to shoot this thing, with actual actors, while keeping everything under wraps? They’re gonna have to reveal the cast sooner or later, unless they want to be beaten to the punch by a couple of amateurs with an iphone camera and access to the internet.

  4. Two words misspelled: Tattoine in your headline should be Tatooine and in the fifth paragraph it says Return of the Yedi, but should be Jedi, of course. In my opinion, the credibility of the writer is in question with sloppy mistakes such as these.

    • Y isn’t even next to J on a QWERTY keyboard. How the hell could anjone make that mistake?

  5. JJ lied to his fan base regarding the premise of Star Trek into Darkness. Insisting he was not retelling the Wrath of Khan. Some may say he only fudged on the truth abit but I feel he lied. That being said, how do we sift the facts from fiction with this production? Well, I recon we will have to wait till Dec 2015 to figure it out. I just hope he (and Disney) do not muck this one up. If they do, the backlash from fans will be financially devastating to Disney. They will be hard pressed to make back their $4 billion (some reports have the amount of their purchase substantially higher…) as well as the production costs of this episode. To coin a phrase: “I have a bad feeling about this!”

  6. Surely they can find a way to start shooting on May the Fourth …

  7. It all comes full circle. The planet of Tatooine has been the setting for the most memorable moments in Star Wars canon.

    Episode I : we first met Anakin Skywalker as a kid slave. Introduced the awesome Pod Racing. First meeting between Anakin & Obi-wan. First fighting with Darth Maul.

    Episode II : Anakin ,now a Jedi Night, rescues her mother and buries her. We saw first glimpse of him leaning to the Dark Side.

    Episode III : Obi-wan gives the baby Luke Skywalker to be adopted by his uncle Owen.

    Episode IV : we meet a grown up Luke Skywalker. First meeting with Han Solo, Chewbacca & the Millenium Falcon. First meeting with Jabba the Hut.

    Episode VI : Luke rescues his sister Leia from Jabba. death of Jabba the Hut & Bobba Fett.

  8. Could be Luke has his Jedi Knights there far away from the previous failed version who lived in a temple in the city.

    I think going back there at least once in the ST was very likely because it is one place that crosses both trilogies and thematically joins them.

  9. not tatooine… koriban home world to the sith