Star Wars

With the release of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ later this week, J.J. Abrams can move almost entirely out of a phasers mindset for the next few years and transition to lightsabers since he’ll have ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ to worry about. While he didn’t have much to reveal about the process of working towards the next chapter about the galaxy far, far away a few months ago, it sounds like he’s closer to having a better idea as it was just announced that his film would return to the United Kingdom to shoot, just like the other ‘Star Wars’ films that came before it.

According to a press release on StarWars.com, the first film in the new trilogy will head across the pond once production is ready to commence. No word yet on which studio they’ll be setting up shop at, but there’s a number of good ones to choose from like Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing, and Pinewood Studios. And seeing as Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy previously indicated that they’ll be embracing the fans’ desire to find out as much as they can about the movie, we’ll probably find out once the ball is ready to get rolling.

Speaking of Kennedy, she had this to say in the press release about returning to the roots of the franchise for this shoot and what shooting in that country means to her:

“We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of ‘Star Wars’ as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I’m thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that. Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Empire of the Sun’, and recently ‘War Horse’, it’s very exciting to be heading back.”

As long as they’re talking about returning to the country in which the origins of ‘Star Wars’ resides (at least, on the production side of things), I wonder if the matter of sets has been brought up yet. Director Abrams has been known to favor sets and practical effects, similar to the original trilogy, so maybe the franchise that he’s inherited will reflect that preference of his, which is one that the series originator George Lucas didn’t really utilize in the most recent set of ‘Star Wars’ films.

Are you excited to hear that ‘Star Wars’ is returning to the UK? Do you think that J.J. Abrams will go even further back to the roots of the franchise and use a lot of actual sets over mostly digital ones? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Written by Michael Arndt and directed by J.J. Abrams, ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ is scheduled for a 2015 release.