JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII will feature an extensive re-creation of desert planet Tatooine from the original trilogy that hit cinemas between 1977 and 1983, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Scenes will be shot in what is being described as a “Morocco-like environment”. The original Tatooine, home of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, was filmed in Southern Tunisia, with the famous Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata doubling as the Skywalkers’ home.
The Hollywood Reporter cites Star Wars sources for its article. Studio Disney, which is overseeing a new series of films after buying all rights to the long-running space opera for $4.05bn in October 2012, has not confirmed the report.
There are strong indications that Episode VII will centre on the key trio of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, played by original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. Solo’s perennial sidekick, Chewbacca, is heavily tipped to return with original actor Peter Mayhew in the furry wookie suit, and Disney has confirmed the new film will feature diminutive droid R2D2.
In other casting news, the latest speculation about Episode VII’s younger roles has come to focus on an unknown British actor, Oxford-educated Maisie Richardson-Sellers. The Hollywood Reporter says she could be in line to play a mixed-race descendant of Jedi Knight Obi Wan Kenobe in the new film despite limited big screen experience.