Star Wars Episode 7 News

Saturday, May 10, 2014

UPDATE! Star Wars Filming to Start on May 13 in Abu Dhabi Desert Under Heavy Security?

Set

This news comes from the people who got the picture of the supposed AT-AT leg in the Abu Dhabi desert with plenty of new details about the Episode 7 set...



Possible SPOILERS:


From The National (via MakingStarWars)

Things seem to be picking up pace around the Star Wars sets in the Abu Dhabi desert, with shooting expected to start on Tuesday and last until at least the end of the month.
Curious day-trippers are likely to be disappointed, however, as our sources report that police and army are checking all vehicles in the area and making sure that anyone who isn’t supposed to be there is sent quickly on their way.
Our sources also report that the sets are getting closer to completion, with a “whole world” having been built on an otherworldly salt lake at one location, a “shuttle-like” spacecraft, a large tower, a “big, centuries-old-looking market”, something the crew are reportedly referring to as the “alien house” and 10 to 15 “really fast buggies” powered by jet engines.
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We have also been told that two lorries of explosives have been brought to one of the sites under high security and that a blast crater has been created. So, it looks like the action in Abu Dhabi could be set to feature a major battle or spacecraft crash of some description.
We also learnt that a group of technicians from the United Kingdom and Los Angeles are currently on site applying the finishing touches before the shoot begins and that some, unnamed, members of the cast are already here and have been out in the dunes practising driving the vehicles they’ll be using when filming begins.
With some of the crew already here (a source told us they checked into an Abu Dhabi hotel on Tuesday) and the main shoot expected to last until at least the end of the month (almost three weeks – and possibly longer depending on hitches such as sandstorms delaying shooting), it certainly looks as if Abu Dhabi is set to play a major role in the new movie. Disney’s chairman Alan Horn’s recent remarks that “We did some second-unit work in Abu Dhabi” may have been a slight understatement.

UPDATE!

Even more bits about the Abu Dhabi set from 7daysindubai:
Production on the movie is expected to start in Abu Dhabi this month.
And pre-production staff, who have been in the UAE since February, have narrowed their search down to two desert locations close to each other in the Western Region. Both have been marked off with traffic cones to help the rest of the crew locate the sites easily. It is believed the location manager scouted the locations because of their dramatic, high sand dunes.
The entrances to both locations have been locked off by security and the area is protected by fencing. The crew has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep the production secret.
star wars
 All production staff, and even staff at hotels where the cast and crew will stay, have been asked to sign confidentially agreements so that the story line is not revealed, a source close to the production said. This weekend, the crew were also seen moving a set workshop away from public view and inside the fenced-off perimeter so that nobody could see it.
Several large transport trucks were also spotted moving the set, which is believed to include a spacecraft that lands on the exotic “planet” being created in the Western Region.
The crew had several large white bags of rusted and bent metal parts, which are to be strewn in the desert, possibly to show a space­­craft crash or perhaps a post-apocalyptic civili­sation.
Meanwhile, it’s understood that the Lucas Films has block booked accommodation near the set in anticipation for full production.
And every morning, two police cars arrive at the accommo­dation of the crew already on location and escort them to the site, making sure that they are not followed by media or curious members of the public, using diversionary measures if necessary.

Thanks to unsungtipster for the heads up!


86 comments:

  1. Rancors destroying Tatooine. Would be awesome.

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    1. Rancors loose in Mos Eisley! ATATs sent in to take 'em out!

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    2. Rancors in Moss Eisley, and then the Sharlacc arrives.

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    3. Oh no... Buggies! Please do not go down the Star Trek route and put them in Buggies. What's happened to the technology of landspeeders and pod racers?

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    4. I totally agree - buggies would be crap, particularly since it was established in canon source back in '77 that landspeeders are a cheap and common form of transportation in the galaxy. It'd be like making a modern-day movie and have a chase scene on penny farthings. >:(

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    5. Aw, damn. I was hoping for all green screen and CGI scenery!!!

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    6. Possibly could be "car" with blue or green wheels that will later be removed in post.

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  2. Just some rambling ideas:
    Luke is living a peaceful life as a farmer on the old homestead [continuing to learn the ways of the Force, but having declined to rebuild the Jedi as a large force under the new government]. He is then suddenly attacked by old refurbished Imperial vehicles, including AT-AT's. He fights well, but has to be saved at the last minute by a familiar hunk of junk and is introduced, possibly for the first time, to his niece and her father's old, hairy friend - and maybe a droid or two.

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    1. And here is a variant:
      Han and Leia's daughter lands on Tatooine with Chewie and one or both droids [though I like the idea that R2 would stay with Luke and he and 3PO are reunited]. She is there to find her uncle in the hopes that he can help with some strange new threat [maybe Han and or Leia are kidnapped]. While going through Mos Eisley, Espa, or some new hive of scum and villainy, they are suddenly attacked by the old Imperial weapons and are saved by a hooded figure wielding flashing sword...

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    2. Why would Luke contradict what took place in VI? Bringing back the Jedi Order is very important to the continued protection of the galaxy.

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    3. Completely agree. Yoda told him to pass on what he's learned. If they completely ignore this it would make no sense at all.

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    4. Because the size of the Jedi Order also contributed to the Republic's downfall. They were too bloated, arrogant, and set in their ways to see what was happening. The return of the Jedi does not mean that they have to be a giant force stationed in the capital. The Sith took them all down with only two of them active at a time [aside from "assassins" and "secret apprentices"]. It would be foolish for Luke to take the Jedi right back to where they were. Luke is a new type of Jedi who learned that attachment is not always wrong. He saved the Galaxy by loving his father enough to refuse to kill him. If he had done what Obi-Wan and Yoda told him to do he would have failed. You are also assuming that Force users are all over the place. We don't know how many have been found. He could have spent most of the time since ROTJ searching the Galaxy and only found one or two Force users. Forget what you think it should be. We don't know anything yet about what this new era holds.

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    5. "Yoda told him to pass on what he's learned. If they completely ignore this it would make no sense at all."

      I'm not saying he hasn't trained anyone, I'm saying he isn't sitting in a tower with a new Council. I accidentally left out that I think he will possibly have an apprentice on Tatooine. Passing on what he has learned doesn't mean a giant force of hundreds or thousands of Jedi running around. If he has only taught Leia or someone else he has fulfilled what Yoda told him. We don't know how many Force users their are in the Galaxy.

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    6. Continued from last:
      I agree that if he hasn't tried to train anyone in 30 years then he has failed as a Jedi. I just don't think we will get a huge Jedi Order like the prequels of EU. That is too obvious and not as interesting. If it happens, I okay with it, but I think they want to retain that sense of mystery and also evolve what we perceive to be the real path to a return of the Jedi.

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    7. I meant "prequels or EU."

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    8. I could see the new Jedi as being a more loosely connected group that are among the people and train those they come across. They are less organized military or centralized monk-like and more like wandering sages spreading the Jedi ways wherever they go. Some stay where they are and live simple lives, protecting people when they have to, while others wander from place to place [taking their apprentices with them until they can go their own way] looking for people to help and train. It would be a little like Kambei and Katsushiro in Seven Samurai.

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    9. So, let's see…

      Luke has got to be either Obi-Wan v2.0 or to be the leader of a new Jedi Order, with thousands of new members. Like, those are the only two choices?

      Really?

      Well, I just hope none of you folks are seriously thinking about pursuing a career as professional writers any time soon.

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    10. I think Luke's intention, based on what we saw in the OT, should be along the lines you've described. However, outside factors over the past 30 years could alter what actually happens....

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    11. "Well, I just hope none of you folks are seriously thinking about pursuing a career as professional writers any time soon."

      Why don't you tell us your idea, oh wise one? Enlighten us with your "professional" advise.

      And I never said he was just like Ben. I don't see him as a hermit, I see him as living a simple life away from politics and using the Force to train whoever he can find [possibly his own child] and using the Force for knowledge and defense. I don't think he is in hiding or keeping the fact that he is a Jedi from others. I figure he also taught [or tried to teach] Leia, though she may have decided to renounce the Force given the fact that her real father blew up her adopted father and her entire homeworld.
      I just don't think the filmmakers are the type who will want to have that many Jedi running around right off the bat. I also doubt the people of the new government will be all that exited to have a ton of Force users in a position of power, especially ones related to Vader.
      Again, let us know what your exciting, imaginative new idea is. Can't wait!

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    12. Also, what about the idea just above you where I say they cold be a combination of wandering sages and those that choose to stay in one place and protect the innocent? What about that is Obi-Wan v2.0 or thousands of Jedi in a new Order?

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    13. "Why don't you tell us your idea, oh wise one? Enlighten us with your "professional" advise."

      I knew this was coming…lol.

      Let me tell you why, simpleton:

      Because my ideas have a purpose: to make some kind of profit. And since my name is neither Kasdan nor Abrams, I have no desire to waste my time or ideas on something that will be completely useless and unproductive for me.

      That's why.

      Now, are you gonna pay me for my ideas?

      Yeah, that's what I thought.

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    14. "Also, what about the idea just above you where I say they cold be a combination of wandering sages and those that choose to stay in one place and protect the innocent? What about that is Obi-Wan v2.0 or thousands of Jedi in a new Order?"

      If you're Anon@9:17 PM, I (Anon@1:00 AM) wasn't replying to you, but to the posters above. Your idea makes a lot of sense, actually.

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    15. "Let me tell you why, simpleton:" "Now, are you gonna pay me for my ideas? Yeah, that's what I thought."

      No, I would never pay a pompous ass like you. I'm sure you are doing real well as a "professional" with that attitude. There are a few pros out there that are a bit like you, but they would have the balls to actually put up or shut up. And the fact that you refuse to give a better idea proves you are nothing but a jackass troll.

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    16. "If you're Anon@9:17 PM, I (Anon@1:00 AM) wasn't replying to you, but to the posters above."

      I am also the one who posted the two ideas about Luke's niece, Chewie and one or more robots finding him on Tatooine. I also accidentally left out that I thought he is likely to have an apprentice with him. I also disagreed with those that think there is going to be a large Jedi Order without being a dimwitted jackass. I also called you out on coming up with a better idea, which you failed to do and proceeded to act like a stuck up jerk over. I also don't believe for a second that you are a professional writer. I also think you are stuck in your grandma's basement.
      And yes, I would like fries with that.

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    17. PS. Thanks for the complement.

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    18. "the fact that you refuse to give a better idea proves you are nothing but a jackass troll."

      lol, no. The fact that I refuse to give a better idea only proves that I know how/when/why/where I should provide a god idea. And this is neither the time nor the place for that, trust me :-D

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    19. Let me have a go...
      After the end of Jedi the other Imperial forces went crazy and decided to lash out at all planets. Especially those connected to Skywalker so they completely flatten Tattoine and all that is left is a grave yard of destruction.
      However as Tattoine is the source of the chosen one Luke returns to find how his grandmother could have become pregnant with his father.
      Only to find a dark secret...

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    20. "The fact that I refuse to give a better idea only proves that I know how/when/why/where I should provide a god idea. And this is neither the time nor the place for that, trust me"

      Still waiting for that call from Lucasfilm so you can legally profit from your super awesome amazing spectacular Star Wars idea? A real writer knows that ideas are cheap; especially ones that amount to fan fiction.

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    21. "Still waiting for that call from Lucasfilm so you can legally profit from your super awesome amazing spectacular Star Wars idea? A real writer knows that ideas are cheap; especially ones that amount to fan fiction."

      Oh yes, I'm sure writers know many things I don't. Never claimed to be one ;-)

      As for LFL calling, I wouldn't keep waiting for that call if I were you.

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    22. I thought look just wasn't a farmer Owen, he has too much of his father in him.

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  3. to those who place posts on this website, without a doubt some pictures of the set are going to get leaked: please don't start putting up spoiler pictures without some kind of warning for us! I love this site, but I don't want to start stumbling upon even a little from the picture until the tailor is released. ...small request.

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    1. er, trailer is released

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    2. I would suggest sticking with the official site for your news. There is far too big a chance of spoilers on sites like this one.

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    3. Strong are the spoilers. Mind this advice. Save you it can.

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    4. Kudos for the above post. ^_^

      But in absolute fairness, Anon May 10 @ 8:45pm - what did you expect from a site called StarWars7News.com ? Nothing until release day? O_o"

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  4. I kind of have a feeling that Luke is going to be living in some kind of exile.

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    1. That would be a tough one to set up [assuming you mean things have gone bad in the Galaxy and he is hiding or estranged from the government] given how Jedi ends. They would have to explain how things got so bad after our heroes saved the Galaxy. That gives the impression of failure and makes the ending of ROTJ seem like a false happy ending. I would think things have gone pretty well up until shortly before the movie starts. That way our heroes have had some time to enjoy their success.

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    2. Luke "The Dude" Skywalker.

      LUKE: Like, the Force, it really ties this room together, man.

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    3. I think he will be rebuilding the Jedi order. I would have guessed another planet like Yavin or Tython but we all know about EU now . .

      My guess is Serkis is playing a Jedi Master and Luke's first padawn after ROTJ and that Boyega, Isaac and Driver all all playing young padawans. They probably had to wait to reach the right age until they could be trained (in reverse to the old ways.)

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    4. Echo-07:

      Actually, training their apprentices at a very early age was one of the best ideas that the Jedi had.

      Training a person at an early age means that the learner will never have a philosophical/spiritual conflict of any kind, because they don't have to "unlearn what they have learned".

      This wasn't the reason that led to the demise of the Jedi Order (and neither were their views concerning attachment, for thatt matter). It was their narrow-minded views concerning the Dark Side (avoiding it as if it was the plague) that doomed them; they had no balance, and so they couldn't preserve the Balance of the Force itself.

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  5. I hope JJ doesn't try too hard to make VII like IV.

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  6. The Muslim terrorists will be no match for the Jedi Master!

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    1. The correct PC terminology is "sand people". You racist. :P

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    2. lol, yeah, I meant to say "Tusken Raiders"!

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    3. *checks the book*

      We will accept that, provided it's said with a respectful tone. Unless you're in the process of fleeing from them. ;B

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    4. Only Al Quaeda deals in absolutes.

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  7. I was speaking with someone (I can't say who) who knows someone whos brothers best friends 3rd cousin, twice removed, is rooming with someone with very close ties something in Star Wars.... Trust me.

    He told me the script will feature the old gang (Luke, Han, Liea, Chewie, R2, and 3PO and Lando, sitting around the Cantina in Mos Eisley talking about old times and getting good and drunk. After 45 minutes of this we get into the meat of the story when a bunch of retired storm troopers come up and realize these are the droids they were looking for and why they had to spend the last 30+ years on a desert waste planet. All hell breaks loose and Luke uses his saber to cut a swath out of there and the rest of the movie is an intergalactic chase scene involving land speeders, the M. Falcon, X-Wings, ATAT's and the big Star Destroyers. After another 45 minutes they finally get to the end and are captured. This is when the new cast gets introduced. They throw the old cast in carbonite and take all their money for the next 2 films.

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    1. Yes, since your anonymous source is so wonderfully close to the production, this is surely legitimate information. I guess Max von Sydow and the rest only show up in the last ten minutes, to oversee the carbon-freezing and permanent shelving of the original cast.

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    2. Lots that can be done with a basic desert setting - easy to add miniatures and CGI to bleak, barren dunes, and to regade the sand to any colour ... blue would be interesting? A perpetually twilight desert world - moon-blue sands and charred, bone-white buildings.

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  8. Why does it have to be Tatooine...? It could be somewhere else. With Han Solo supposedly having such a central role in the film I wouldn't be surprised if we spend some time on Corellia.

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    1. yeah... I hope it's a new planet.

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    2. Could be Kor...err...Morriband

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  9. It's getting more entertaining than trying to spot UFOs near the Area 51!!!

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    1. Who said anything about trying... They are out there. Trust me.

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    2. Yeah... I Want To Believe... O.O

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    3. Out there! Out there! Out there's a bit of an understatement lol
      They are a among us! What did the 'Buzz' say and he went to the moon?
      I can only but imagine a 'Star Wars' out there somewhere too, the idea of of a single human species fighting among ourselves, just sounds so wrong somehow, a lonely existence surrounded by an incredible waste of 'space'
      Don't you think? Just saying...todd 49 New Zealand

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    4. Sneaking into Area 51 is presumably MUCH easier than getting anywhere near the Star Wars set in Abu Dhabi.

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  10. JJ's secret "Mystery Box" in full effect. LOL :)

    No more leaked photos of AT-AT foot pads . . . :P

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  11. Think ALuke and all the jedi he trained are by their own and not part of Republic or any other force.But they go around helping out were they are needed and always looking out for dark side threats.This way they only answear to the force and their own morale.

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    1. Exactly.

      I think it's safe to assume that Luke's had enough time to find out all about the corruption plaguing the Senate in the waning days of the Republic.

      And so it makes perfect sense for him to decide that his new Jedi will follow the will of the Force, as opposed to the will of a few greedy/crooked politicians.

      Why, this could even have an important part to play in the ST, if it puts the Jedi at odds with the new galactic govmt. that took over for the Empire at some point.

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  12. I think that the Episode VII will start with a battle scene or a action scene, characteristic of JJ movies, like in both Star Trek.

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    1. We might end up on some strange, unknown planet early on before moving on to Tatooine.

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  13. I think Episode VI starts off with a scene of whoever the villains are ;)

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    1. The classical beginning is a scene with with ships in space, where a battle is either already ongoing or the build-up to some kind of violent confrontation or event is underway.

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  14. First off, the Empire isn't "finished". All they did in ROTJ was kill Palpatine, Vader & Death Star v2.0. What about the DOZENS of Star Destroyers that were bearing down on Endor? Did they all just have thier crews abandon ship & leave them thier for the rebels to confiscate? Of course not!
    They retreated & regrouped to come up with another plan of attack.

    And what about all of the Empire's forces that, after Vader & Palpatine were removed from the picture, gleefully moved in to fill the power vacuum with someone A THOUSAND TIMES WORSE than Vader & Palpatine combined?
    A Sith Yoda, if you will: someone who's so obscure that thier existance is thought to be only in legend & stories told around the fire, but who, in point of fact, is quite real ..... That someone being Max Van Sydow.

    Letting the Republic sit back and get fat & happy & complacent. Relaxing thier guard a little because all is well within the galaxy. During all the while, in ultra-deep
    secrecy, the Sith are mustering thier forces, developing new technologies, getting ready for an all-out, take no prisoners, ZERO MERCY counterassault.

    Culminating in Episode IX, where, FOR ONCE, the bad guys win it all & win BIG.

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  15. ... and by the way, expect mirror-camo'd drone footage of the set beginning on Day 2 of shooting.

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  16. I think a very likely theme for these new movies could be freedom and responsibility. "Freedom" is after all what the rebellion was fighting for and now they have won. But what does freedom mean? Were they all fighting for the same meaning of it? One's freedom can easily become another's oppression especially with the backing of government power. Unfortunately some will always have greater means and opportunity then the majority of others and everyone will act out of their own self interest-- that is if you want to treat people realistically and you had better if you want your audience to relate. The Jedi, of course strive to not live for their own self interest but they failed and will likely fail again under the lure of the Dark Side. I wouldn't want the films to dwell on this theme like they did with the politics in the PT, but I could easily see this as being the basis for another galaxy shaking conflict leading to war and it is star WARS after all.

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  17. Magneto: "The War.... has begun!"

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  18. Anybody think Lucas would have done everything mentioned in this (speculated) set building....digital? I know I do. I think it's great. I don't mean to bash Lucas. It's just a nice change, that's all. And the actual actors/ess's driving the vehicles thru the sand for a scene or 2 is hella kick ass.

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    1. George Lucas built the ground buildings of Mos Espa on location, had lots of extras and droids, and even the original landspeeder. JJ Abrams will be working in exactly the same way. What sets exist will be augmented with miniatures and digital mattes. Quite common practice for all modern big-budget action movies.

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  19. Yes Lucas would have gone all digital, considering he had to CGI yoda's walking stick. Yeah... a stick... that looked fake. Bash away.

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  20. I can't wait to see Yoda's son.

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  21. "900 years old you will be, *#ck as good you will not" Sorry.

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  22. Always wondered why part of Luke and Leia's birth is digital. Before the close up of Luke, when Obi Wan is first holding him, Ewan is playing make-believe "hold the baby." Back on topic, keep building sets on location, it's going to make it a better movie I think.

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    1. The availability of the baby for certain shots may not have coincided with Ewan's. Alternatively, Star Wars is a testbed for state of the art special effects and digital compositing experiments, efforts by George Lucas to keep the overall budget as low as possible.

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  23. :) for sure, and Bad Robot is the best there is when it comes to set designs

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  24. AT-ATs stepping into a sarlacc pit? My nerdiness is ready

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  25. Hey STAR WARS fans!!!!!!!
    Check out my shop CCPArt on Etsy

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CCPArt

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  26. It could also be Sith world - Moriband

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  27. As I type this, it is 8:15am Tuesday May 13, 2014 in Abu Dhabi. If the above article is correct, episode 7 may have started principal photography. If not, then they will very, very soon. HOORAY!!!!!!!

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