While much of "Star Wars: Episode VII" remains a mystery (like the title, who's in it, and how far along they are), one thing has become clear (sort of): the earthly location that will double for the desert moon of Tattooine. According to the Hollywood Reporter the United Arab Emirates city-state of Abu Dhabi is going to be standing in for Tattooine in mid-May for what is presumed to be a four-week shoot.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, this was the planet that was once home to both Anakin Skywalker (in the dreadful prequels) and Luke Skywalker in the proper movies. In fact, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, it has featured, in one way or another, into every "Star Wars" movie except "The Empire Strikes Back." Other notable characters to inhabit the sandy land include Jabba the Hutt, Tusken raiders and, of course, Jawas (love those little guys!), with memorable locations including Mos Eisley Cantina and wherever the hell the pod races too place.
In the original movies, the North African country of Tunisian served as Tattooine, although political unrest has caused the production to look elsewhere (earlier reports indicated that Morocco was a possibility). I recently visited the neighboring EA city-state of Dubai and can attest to its otherworldliness. This is the perfect place for team "Star Wars" to set up camp. Hopefully Disney and director J.J. Abrams will actually make some announcements sometime soon...
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