It has been revealed that the Crown’s Estate denied Lucasfilm and Disney's request to film scenes for a Star Wars film at Windsor Great Park, Berkshire – land owned by the Queen. The royal park, which spans 5,000 acres, is a known hot spot for filming lending its scenery and location to big budget films like both Harry Potter films Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, Pirates of the Caribbean, Robin Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Into the Woods, Alex Garland’s upcoming science fiction thriller film Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman and, most recently, the new Winnie-the-Pooh film Goodbye Christopher Robin.
One huge franchise that wasn’t granted use of the lands for filming was Star Wars, a surprise considering its international recognition. While the estate spokesperson wouldn’t reveal which Star Wars film was looking to film on the lands, he did reveal that the request was made a few years ago indicating that film in question was most likely either Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens or Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In a recent interview with BBC News, the estate spokesperson commented on why the Crown’s Estate would not allow Star Wars to film on the property citing that the risk was just “too great” for the park. Here is their statement:
"Star Wars was just such a huge thing that the risk for the park was just too great. The location they were interested in wasn't suitable for large numbers of people in there. Our priority is to maintain and protect Windsor Great Park and we can facilitate film crews if we're sure the risk to the park is minimal. But Star Wars is a huge machine, and there's also massive outside interest in those sort of things. It wasn't right for here."
This new revelation does make us wonder which location Windsor Great Park would have been used for in the Star Wars universe. Looking at the park, which consists of open green fields, wooded forests and castles, it would have been a prime location for Takodana – a planet covered in lush forests and small lakes where Rey meets Maz Kanata and first encounters Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, which was ultimately filmed in the Lake District and Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire. We could also see the park being used as the location of the Resistance base on D’Qar, another location with a heavy forest landscape seen in the film.
If the park was being considered for Rogue One, it could have been used for the opening scene featuring the stand-off between Director Orson Krennic and the Erso family on the planet Lah’mu or for the aerial shots of Yavin 4 – the location of the Rebel base where Jyn officially joins the rebellion. Alas, considering the park couldn't be used for a Star Wars film years ago, we have a feeling we won't be seeing Windsor Great Park making an appearance in The Last Jedi or future Star Wars films.
Source: BBC News
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019