x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Star Wars Episode 7 shoot headed for Abu Dhabi?

"Together, Luke, we will rule the Emirates." Darth Vader headed to Abu Dhabi? Photo courtesy Lucasfilms
"Together, Luke, we will rule the Emirates." Darth Vader headed to Abu Dhabi? Photo courtesy Lucasfilms

If the internet rumour mill is to be believed, this weekend’s Comic Con could be about to pale into insignificance for the region’s geek community – Star Wars fan site Jedi News has claimed that Star Wars Episode 7 is set to film in Abu Dhabi.

The official line was that Star Wars would begin shooting in May, based at Pinewood Studios in London. However in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on April 2nd, Wals Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn confirmed that shooting has already started, although he did not offer any details on locations. There have been strong rumours that location shooting would begin in Morocco, suggesting a return to Luke Skywalker’s desert home Tatooine. If Jedi News is to be believed, however, shooting has already begun in Cairo, with further plans to move to Abu Dhabi in future. The capital could certainly play the role of a twin-mooned desert planet with some aplomb.

The site reports: “A solid source has told Jedi News that Episode VII is already filming in Cairo. That’s right - ALREADY FILMING. Our source also relayed to us that filming is expected to be take place at some point in Abu Dhabi, though no further details were provided on that location.”

Taking into account director JJ Abrams’ notorious insistence on secrecy on his sets, and the small matter that this is probably the most hotly anticipated film since the last time Star Wars was resurrected it’s not inconceivable that the producers should pull a fast one to misdirect unwanted eyes from the set, but nonetheless it should be pointed out that the site is not an official news source for the Star Wars producer, Disney. Abu Dhabi Film Commission, who handle filming permits in the capital, were unable to confirm or deny the claims today, so until we hear from one of them this stays strictly in the rumour file.

I think it’s safe to say the entire country is hoping it’s true, though.