Star Wars Location Rumors Suggest A Return To Tatooine

It all comes back to Morocco, doesn’t it?

Sources close to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII suggest that principal photography on the massively anticipated sequel will get underway on May 14, according to Badass Digest. The site adds that the first two weeks of filming will take place in Morocco, with a possible shift to Tunisia.

That means Tatooine.

Chunks of scenes from George Lucas’ seminal 1977 epic Star Wars: A New Hope filmed in the Saharan nations, taking advantage of the arid landscapes to give Luke Skywalker’s home planet an extraterrestrial base. It was on Tatooine where Luke first encountered the shut in known as Ben Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness). Could an older Skywalker (Mark Hamill) be situated on Tatooine, content in his uber-Jedi-dom, when a new apprentice approaches him, kick-starting this trilogy?

Speculation, of course, but it’s possible.

Location scouting on the upcoming Episode VII raises our hopes that Abrams wants to return the series to its roots. Filming in legitimate locations could strip away that digital, CGI feel that cloaked the prequel trilogies. Granted, the artificial look wasn’t the main problem with Lucas’ new trilogy (trade embargoes, anyone?). But going the extra mile to film on sets in actual locations could lend an authenticity that Episode VII will need right off the bat to continue earning back fan goodwill.

Heading to North Africa also means Abrams might be able to use sets and props that still stand in the desert to this day. A wile back, photographer Ra di Martino captured images of past Star Wars sets that still exist to this day. Cut down on your budget, Abrams, and put these locations back into play!

Tatooine 1

Tatooine 2

Tatooine 3

Speculation continues to run rampant on various Star Wars boards that a big announcement pertaining specific details on Episode VII could drop on May 4, an unofficial holiday adopted by fans of the franchise. I mean, there are a lot of details we still don’t know about Abrams’ movie. Like the cast. The movie’s title. And the overall plot. Could those details drop on May (the) 4th. I don’t see why not. But the Mystery Box does what the Mystery Box wants, so we will wait and see. We do know that Star Wars: Episode VII is due in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.