Have you been as anxious about Star Wars: Episode VII as we have? We have been waiting to share with you some good news and it’s finally here. Disney and Lucasfilm are excited to announce that principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams will begin filming in May 2014 (just 2 months away) in London’s historic Pinewood Studios. They have also confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII is set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and there will be a trio of new young leads (remember those casting calls we told you about awhile back?) as well as some old familiar faces. While they are not giving us any further details on plot or casting, we’re pretty sure some more info will leak once filming begins in May.
StarWars.com has given us this timeline to look forward to:
- March 22, 1976 — The first day of principal photography in Tozeur, Tunisia, for Star Wars. A crew of 130 ventures into the desert in 42 trucks and cars, including eight army trucks full of equipment. The first shot was completed at 9:35 a.m.
- March 5, 1979 — The first day of principal photography in Finse, Norway, for The Empire Strikes Back. The crew endures the subzero temperatures, frostbite, heavy winds, and avalanches to pull off the first shot within 65 minutes of setup.
- January 11, 1982 — The first day of principal photography at EMI Elstree Studios outside of London for Return of the Jedi. Although inside a studio, the set must weather a sandstorm in a scene that would ultimately be cut from the film.
- June 26, 1997 — The first day of principal photography at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, England, for The Phantom Menace. Ending a long absence from the director’s chair, George Lucas shoots a sequence in a bluescreen-lined set with actors Ian McDiarmid and Ray Park.
- June 26, 2000 — The first day of principal photography for Attack of the Clones at Fox Studios Australia. In their new home Down Under, the production crew once again photographs actor Ian McDiarmid three years to the day after Episode I started shooting.
- June 30, 2003 — The first day of principal photography for Revenge of the Sith at Fox Studios Australia. The first scenes shot feature Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively, along with R2-D2.
Star Wars: Episode VII will release in theaters on December 18, 2015. The reference to some old and familiar faces means we might see Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill return to the franchise for at least guest appearances, although they won’t be the lead starts. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing how Abrams works this in the script to make it all flow accordingly.
Here’s hoping we might get some more info released on upcoming May 4th (unofficially known as “Star Wars day”) and also San Diego Comic Con that is coming up. So we’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled for anything new and interesting and be sure to let us know if you hear of a rumor you want us to dig into.