J.J. Abrams is talking things back to where it all began, back to Tatoonine, the first planet to appear in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy and Luke Skywalker’s home planet.  Very little casting has been announced, but photography has begun with principle photography to occur in Abu Dhabi (which is doubling as Tatooine) beginning sometime in mid-May. Shooting in Abu Dhabi will reportedly take four weeks to complete.

Why the change? Reports say that the political climate of Tunisia has made it unsafe to film and the climate and landscape of the United Arab Emerates provides an excellent substitue. It’s been reported that among the sets is a recreation of the Skywalker home (which I find odd, considering the tragedy that occurred last time Luke was there).  Prior to Luke being raised there by his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen Lars, Shmi Skywalker lived there with her husband Cleigg Lars after her son Anakin went off to train as a Jedi.  (So technically, it’s the Lars home not Skywalker.)

Abrams, who directed the two recent ‘Star Trek’ movies, is notoriously secretive about his films and considering the high profile of this one, expect that to only increase.  Horn confirmed that the new film takes place thirty years after ‘Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’.  As stated, very little casting has been announced– only Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and R2-D2 have been confirmed (reportedly R2-D2 will be an actual robot, so it’s unclear if his original actor Kenny Baker will be involved) alongside some “very familiar faces.”  Most are expecting older versions of Han, Luke and Leia to appear and be portrayed by their original actors, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer.  But the main story is expected to revolve around a new, younger cast, most likely the children of the original heroes.  Expect three new young leads, but their characters and the roles they will play is unknown.

Would Luke really have returned to his childhood home?  Anything is possible and it would be fitting to acknowledge this setting as it essentially helped kick off the entire franchise.  Abrams has already shown to be reverential of his source material, perhaps overly so as with ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’.  I expect to hear more about references to the previous films and even a few Easter Eggs in the movie itself when it finally arrives.

Are you excited about a revisit to the Galaxy Far, Far Away?  Are there any other familiar locations you’d like to see?  Comment below!

Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.

Source: Screen Rant