Director J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company tweeted the first image from the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII” late Thursday night with the hashtag “dayone,” implying filming of the long-awaited sequel has officially begun.
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) May 16, 2014
Filming was scheduled to begin at London’s Pinewood Studios, and the clapboard in the photo features the film’s logo with two names – Abrams and that of his cinematographer Dan Mindel. The the closely cropped photo betrays no significant set elements, but filmmaker Joseph Kahn retweeted the photo with analysis of the numbers, speculating they signified a visual-effects shot.
My read on STAR WARS 7 slate: ND 6 bringing down two stops to a 5.6 stop. Probably long anamorphic lens on close up. pic.twitter.com/9cLLOEUOdl
— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn) May 16, 2014
The Verge reports that a smear of sand across the middle of the clapboard suggests the first round of filming could be a return to Luke Skywalker’s desert home planet of Tatooine, where actors Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford made their first Star Wars scene debuts in 1977′s “A New Hope.” The two, along with a majority of the core original cast, have returned for the 30-plus year follow up to “Return of the Jedi.” Hints at the title are already circulating the Web.
Disney chairman Alan Horn has already confirmed ”some second-unit” filming took place in Abu Dhabi, and recent photos by The National show a crew working on a covered set amidst a sea of sand dunes, which included reports of seeing ”shuttle-like” vehicles and a “big, centuries-old-looking market.”
“Star Wars: Episode VII” is scheduled for release in December 2015.