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Yesterday Starwars.com released a press release about the first day of filming for the new trilogy. Star Wars Episode VII is set to start principle photography in May 2014 at Pinewood Studio London. Pinewood studios opened in the 1930’s and is home to some of Britain’s most famous films including the James Bond Series as well as Hollywood giants like The Hobbit, Prometheus and some of the recent Marvel films.

The biggest piece of news for fans came hidden in the last paragraph of article. “Star Wars: Episode VII is set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces.” A few weeks ago we reported on casting rumors surrounding Episode VII and an interview in which Carrie Fisher talked about returning to the series along with Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford suggesting that these will be the familiar face mentioned.

“A trio of young new leads” crushes the resent rumours that have circled suggesting the film will focus on Luke, Han and Leia while introducing new characters that would take center stage during episodes VIII and IX. While there is no news on casting yet Adam Driver from the US TV show, Girls has been rumoured to be playing the new villain.

In the expanded universe the collections of books, comics and other media 30 years after the Return of the Jedi is the end of the The New Jedi Order and beginning of the Legacy eras. During the New Jedi Order ear the remains of the Empire have signed a peace treaty with the new Jedi order started by the last Jedi Luke Skywalker. During this time period the Yuuzhan Vong an Alien race from outside the known Galaxy invade. During the Legacy Era, peace is reached with the Yuuzhan Vong and the new Galactic Alliance struggles to hold it self together. Also during this era Jacen Solo rises to become the Sith Darth Caedus.

If the Expanded Universe is followed Darth Caedus would be a likley candidate for main villain. Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo have been hired by Disney to create the Star Wars story team and decide what material will be cannon and what won’t, until they finish their work the future of the expanded universe will remain unknown.

Starwars.com also shared the documentation that Lucasfilm kept for the first day of principle photography for each of the six films.

  • March 22, 1976 — The first day of principal photography in Tozeur, Tunisia, for Star Wars. A crew of 130 ventures into the desert in 42 trucks and cars, including eight army trucks full of equipment. The first shot was completed at 9:35 a.m.
  • March 5, 1979 — The first day of principal photography in Finse, Norway, for The Empire Strikes Back. The crew endures the subzero temperatures, frostbite, heavy winds, and avalanches to pull off the first shot within 65 minutes of setup.
  • January 11, 1982 — The first day of principal photography at EMI Elstree Studios outside of London for Return of the Jedi. Although inside a studio, the set must weather a sandstorm in a scene that would ultimately be cut from the film.
  • June 26, 1997 — The first day of principal photography at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, England, for The Phantom Menace. Ending a long absence from the director’s chair, George Lucas shoots a sequence in a bluescreen-lined set with actors Ian McDiarmid and Ray Park.
  • June 26, 2000 — The first day of principal photography for Attack of the Clones at Fox Studios Australia. In their new home Down Under, the production crew once again photographs actor Ian McDiarmid three years to the day after Episode I started shooting.
  • June 30, 2003 — The first day of principal photography for Revenge of the Sith at Fox Studios Australia. The first scenes shot feature Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively, along with R2-D2.

Star Wars Episode VII will be released in cinemas on the 18th of December 2015 and is being directed by J.J. Abrams the master mind behind the recent Star Trek reboot and TV sensation LOST and cult hit Fringe. The only confirmed cast member so far is R2D2.  Check back soon for the latest Star Wars News. Are you excited for Episode VII or did the prequel trilogy wound you to deep? Let us know in the comments below.

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