Wednesday, July 30, 2014

UPDATE 5! Skellig Michael Filming Has Begun. First Pictures from Day One. Photos of Mark Hamill and J.J. Abrams!

Skellig MichaelToday marks the start of the brief Star Wars: Episode VII production on Skellig Michael off the South Kerry coast. After the break we’ll take you behind the scenes.

 

Kerry Portmagee

In a story that Viral Hide has been following for the last couple weeks, today, in fact, marks the first day of filming of a reported three days on the little island of Skellig Michael. According to a report from The Movie Bit, filming has already started this morning. From the wording it sounds like Second Unit stuff:

UPDATE – Some filming has already take place very early this morning

 

Kerry Portmagee

It sounds like the new cast members are filming at the site, with veterans Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher NOT expected at the location. But info is sketchy at this time:

UPDATE – Apparently it’s the lesser known cast members that are to shoot on Skellig Michael, according to some reporters, but again, that depends on their knowledge. But if that’s anything to go by, don’t expect Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher or Luke Skywalker

Kerry Portmagee

JJ Abrams and cast will be flown in for the shoot at a later point, but thus far none of them have been spotted at the location:

UPDATE – It’s now confirmed that a helicopter will fly the cast and very possibly JJ Abrams to Skellig Michael. The helipad will fly from Valencia island.

 

Thus far pictures from the various locations associated with shoot have been posted by The Movie Bit, but reveal little about what is being shot there and who is doing the shooting. It is possible that the entire three day shoot is Second Unit.

 

Kerry Portmagee

While it’s entirely unclear to what extent shooting will occur, IE set pieces etc…, the conservative group Birdwatch Ireland has voiced concerns about the production and its impact on the local bird breeding season as Skellig Michael has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dr. Stephen Newton, while airing his concerns, suggested the current shoot is part of the schedule rearrangement that was necessary because of the Harrison Ford injury:

“I would be quite happy if the filming took place out of the breeding season and I’m led to believe it was originally scheduled for September, which is a much better time of year to be doing this sort of thing.”

 

For a virtual tour of scenic Skellig, and a possible look into the various locations to appear in Episode VII, I suggest visiting The Virtual Tourist. And keep checking back for new updates to this shoot as they become available.

 

skellig michael

Episode VII crew on their way to Skellig Island

 

UPDATE!

 

There are unconfirmed reports that Mark Hamill is in the area. Also a source confirmed to TheMovieBit that J.J. Abrams landed in Kerry airport earlier today.

 

UPDATE 2!

 

Chelsea Hamill daughter of actor Mark Hamill, his sons Nathan and Griffin and his wife Marilou arrive at Portmagee harbour to be transported to the set on the JJ Abrams directed Star Wars Episode VII on July 28, 2014 in Skellig Island, Ireland. (via yahoo)

 

chelsea hamill

 

nathan hamill

griffin hamill

And here’s Hamill himself (blue shirt between number 5 and 2) with J.J. Abrams:

 

hamill & abrams

Mark Hamill, (blue shirt) makes his way to a car after disembarking a helicopter returning from Skellig Island.

 

hamill & abrams

 

UPDATE 3!

 

Hey guys Viral here. I’ve been doing the last updates. Now one of our sources confirmed to me that the Skellig shoot will include 2 actors. He couldn’t reveal the identity of the other but I’m sure we’ll find out pretty soon. So stay tuned…

 

 

UPDATE 4!

 

Here’s one possible reason why the Hamill family are all together at Portmagee:

 

 

Some better quality pictures from day one:

 

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

 

UPDATE 5!

 

Some videos from day 2:

 

 

107 comments

  1. Interesting.

    So if JJ is going there then it steps this 3 day shoot from 2nd unit to principle photography with the new actors.

    So IIRC we have 3 days here, 4 days at the forest location in England, 2 weeks? in Abu Dhabi and apparently 2nd unit shooting in Iceland.

    Anywhere else so far?

    Seems the trio have done no location shooting yet. One wonders if they might come back to this island in September once Ford returns to shooting?

    The story though indicates that this was moved up so the likelihood is that this isn’t the case.

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  2. Jedi Older Code July 28, 2014 at 18:19 PM

    Starting to wonder if the big 3 are even in this movie…

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    1. No, we’re not doing that again!!! ;)

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    2. I think it’s a safe bet that Mark, Carrie, and Harrison have been doing most of their scenes indoors so far. After all, you can’t forget about the fact that Harrison Ford injured himself on the set of the Millennium Falcon.

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      1. You can’t forget about the fact that they’re old farts

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        1. I’m sorry, your point?

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          1. That they might be too old for traveling around and working in uncomfortable locations for several days? Aren’t they like 70 something?

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            1. They’ll be just fine. Complain about something relevent at least.

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      2. I would think the main 3 will have their exterior scenes shot on the Pinewood backlot and then inter-cut with location footage.

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      3. Yeah, and we also hear Boyega is owning this movie, and have not seen any pics of him or any of the major cast in action. So with the rational of the Big 3 shooting indoors everyone must be as well….except extras!
        But seriously I would have to say the security personnel has been exceptional at their jobs.
        But this just maybe the time some cool pics of actors in costume get out…thus plot spoilers right in front, getting a little scared. From the shots photographers are getting now, the next few days may just get interesting.

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  3. The more locations, the more it feels like we indeed will see a story where a group of characters moves through the galaxy visiting planets in a search for young…I mean, old, Skywalker.

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  4. Paulo Henrique July 28, 2014 at 19:18 PM

    It seems the Episode VII will be like the Kotor games. We’ll have a travel, visiting planets and moons. Will be a fantastic adventure!

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    1. At this point I’m starting to think it might be more like Star Tours!

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    2. I hope that the Sequel Trilogy as a whole has the scope of the Prequel Trilogy and the focus on individual characters and their accomplishments like in the Original Trilogy.

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      1. What you said… I want dat! Nicely put.

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      2. I will never understand this concept that bigger is somehow better

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        1. Well it was us kids who were awed by the space station the size of a small moon and a super star destroyer… well I thought it was cool anyway. The space battle in ROTJ was probably the coolest thing my 7 year old eyes ever saw. Well that along with the creepy old dude shooting lightning out of his fingers… haha.

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        2. Production value!

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      3. Complain about the prequels all you want, there is no denying that they widen the scope enormously in the “geographic” sense.

        People who watch the OT after the PT often feel that the galaxy has suddenly shrunk. Where did the sprawling alien cities and the wealth of high-culture planets go? Suddenly we are spending all our time in backwaters and on primitive worlds instead.

        Of course, this is somewhat justified in terms of story (the Rebellion must stay far away from the centers of civilization dominated by the Empire), but still: A combination of PT-like scope and OT-like richness of characterization is surely the way to go.

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        1. Complain about the OT fans all you want, but the OT was quality over quantity.

          Tell me something. Who were the main characters (big 3, if you will) of the PT? Who was it that you rooted for? What big surprise was there in the PT?

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      4. I like you comments the only thing I’d add is that the PT did have focus on individual characters and their accomplishments.

        That is exactly what happened with Anakin, Padme, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Jar Jar, Sidiuous, Yoda to name a few.

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        1. I know, but what I was saying is that I thought the execution of that part of the story was better in the Original Trilogy. Or at least it seemed better to me because the dialogue was more natural than the dialogue in the Prequel Trilogy.

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      5. Both things together? I don’t think that can work. If you want to focus on characters you can’t have the scope of the prequels.

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  5. Frank C. Moore July 28, 2014 at 19:49 PM

    Hey guys! On the second picture (the one on which we see a lot of people), does anyone agree that the man putting on a red backpack really looks like Michael Emerson! This actor has played in ” Lost” and ” Person of interest, two Tv series produced by J.J. Look on Imdb! link to imdb.com

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    1. Frank C. Moore July 28, 2014 at 20:34 PM

      Strangely, i just posted this picture on emerson Facebook page asking him if it was him on the picture but the post just got erased!!

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      1. i just did the same…he took it right down! I dont really know who he is, but that was fun!

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        1. How on earth can you tell when you can’t see any of their faces clearly?

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  6. I get the fact that the birds use this island and is their home but I think it’s very annoying that some jumped up Dr is having a moan about the worlds most popular film franchise shooting there for a matter of days! It’s Star Wars damn it! The birds will be just fine! Jeeeeeeeez…

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    1. I’m normally all about saving wild life. In the name of Star Wars though? You could blow up the moon for a realistic practical effect and I’d be on board! Star Wars is all that matters *Roar* >:D

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    2. The other, smaller island is the bird sanctuary.
      Skellig Michael is where the beehive dwellings are.

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    3. Red Lightsaber July 29, 2014 at 03:33 AM

      and that Dr probably eats chicken or duck. A lot of these environmentalist groups are hypocrites. Its not like the film crew are the Exxon Valdez oil barge. You are right, its Star Wars and please get these wackos out of the way for three days!

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  7. Obiwantstoknow July 28, 2014 at 20:40 PM

    It does kinda look like Emerson ….good eye frank……btw we have same last name

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    1. Frank C. Moore July 28, 2014 at 22:14 PM

      Nice but its actually not my real name. I’m a french Canadian and my real last name is Simard. So ” C. Moore ” is like the english version of my name cause it sounds the same.

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  8. I knew it! This is where Luke is being held captive

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  9. Finally! ‘Bout time Mark got to do some filming! Letting Harrison have all of the ankle-breaking fun ;) (Hopefully this puts the ‘Luke is a hermit on Tatooine’ rumors to rest.) (Also, please don’t take the Harrison jab as offensive or anything, all in good fun)

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  10. thereisanother July 28, 2014 at 22:40 PM

    Said before I think this is Luke’s home now. Just a wild guess.

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    1. It could very well be his home, but I truly believe he is captured. This will bring full circle Han’s comment “Now I owe you one” from ROTJ.

      Either way….THIS IS SO EXCITING.

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      1. I don’t think he is being captured, only bec of the report that there are only going to be two actors. If he was captured you would think there would be huge sets and lots of actors for present to shoot for that.

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  11. thereisanother July 28, 2014 at 23:25 PM

    I didn’t think of him being held captive. That’s very logical and could see that happening..

    December 18th needs to hurry on up

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    1. He’s being held captive on an island in the middle of an ocean where he can’t escape

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      1. Why has to be held captive?
        And If it’s only his peaceful home?

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  12. Wonder what other actors are there

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    1. I’m guessing the other might be Ridley. And I’m basing that only because I saw a tweet this morning about her getting up at 5 a.m. Could be wrong.

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      1. I also think that might be her in the top helicopter picture. The dark haired woman with her back to the camera. Another picture I saw was her getting out of the helicopter walking to the car.

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  13. My Mom told me the Devil ‘imself lives on Skellig Island ….

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  14. how can you even make out mark in that picture…i can’t even see a face for the numbers in the way.

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  15. It is nice to see them seeking out real locations instead of taking the quick and easy path (as Yoda would say) and concoct something in a computer.

    I wonder if Skellig will be shown as an island in the finished movie as well? We have already had indications that an ocean planet will be featured this time around. That is a good choice. Except for storm-ridden Kamino in Episode 2, ocean is a kind of “landscape” that has not been much featured in Star Wars yet.

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  16. May be the location of the lightsabre duel up the side of a mountainous terrain mentioned in rumours some time ago, featuring the burning wreck of a spacecraft?

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  17. If that monastery we saw pics of the other day turns out to be where they find Luke… that’s going to look incredibly cool!

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  18. Personally not big on the whole “Luke has been in exile for 30 years” idea. Just doesn’t fit with what was shown of the character in the OT imo. Seems like too much focus on the title Jedi (An OT only version at that) and not enough on the character himself.

    I personally hope the search for Luke is being done due to a recent disappearance.

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    1. I think the “Luke in exile” thread could work as long as he didn’t leave Han and Leia *immediately* after the end of the Original Trilogy. I could see him having a few more swashbuckling adventures in space, taking on the remnants of the Empire for a few years, before going on a spiritual journey to find and recruit a new generation of Jedi. Even then, I’d still think he’d still try and stay in contact with Leia.

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      1. Pomo- I don’t have a big issue with what you described. That’s not really what comes to mind when I see the word exile though. That says to me he simply disappeared with no word and stayed out of contact the whole 30 year time span. That imo is what doesn’t fit.

        The idea of him going out on his own, for the purpose of trying to rebuild the Jedi, and simply not being around for stretches at a time isn’t all that bad.

        Just see nothing in the OT that suggests he would abando his friends and family.

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        1. Luke better remain attached. I don’t want any weird sexless Jedi up in this b****.

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  19. I hope they photograph it as is, perhaps the added touch of another planet seen in the sky and not obscured too much with digital fog and a digital stormy ocean..

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  20. I read a rumor a while back that Luke would be found living in a stone hut. I didn’t think much about it until today.

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  21. The seating arrangement in the read-through photo probably indicates how much on-screen interaction each actor has with the other. Luke and C3PO might not meet up with the others until the end.

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  22. It’s pretty crazy that none of the principles have been snapped in costume yet. Gotta give it up to JJ & Co.

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  23. Like Obi-wan in episode 4, Luke in episode 7 is a hermit?

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    1. Don’t tell me: he’s secretly watching over Daisy and Boyega, soon to inform them of their Force sensitivities and lie to them about their parents’ true identities.

      BTW kids, don’t get all hot-n-heavy until they introduce Maury in IX! 0_o

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  24. I’m just glad they finally came to Ireland to shoot some of the movie

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  25. Obi-wan and Yoda both had a reason to hide. Without a good explanation there isn’t any reason for Luke to follow that example.

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  26. I think this is where Luke has been living a reclusive life, possibly with a few devoted followers/acolytes also with him.

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  27. They’re writing the story, they can create a reason for Luke to become a hermit and live in exile.
    Perhaps a devastating personal tragedy (like someone he loves dying) that he may blame himself for.
    Whatever the reason, the search for Luke makes a great plot line, especially if an ancient menace returns and is threatening the galaxy.

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    1. Obviously they can write whatever plot line they wish. The question is will said plot fit with the character.

      Would have to be something extreme to make a character like Luke leave everything and everyone he battled for, given what we see in the OT. Especially if the Empire is stil a threat.

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  28. Did anyone notice a woman with long red hair in any of the photos?

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  29. Exile or not, I’m hoping they’re not turning Luke into an aged Jedi whose powers have grown weak over time (like OT Obi Wan). I want to see Luke as a kick ass Jedi Master like we all hoped he would be after ROTJ…

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    1. Ben wasn’t weak in the OT. They just made him ridiculously strong in the PT.

      Plus, it was a different galaxy with different rules.

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      1. And Ben wasn’t the son of the chosen one.

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  30. [Spoiler caution] This scene takes place on a remote planet. A handful of Jedi in training are completing their last task, procuring a rare crystal that enables the completion of a light saber. It’s one of the cooler aspects of the script and builds tension since we won’t even see a light saber ignited on screen until a third of the way into the film.

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    1. Yeah, baby! Less is more! LESS. IS. MOOOORRREEE!!! qxD

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    2. Watching people assemble lightsabers is boring. That’s why they deleted a similar scene in VI.

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      1. Not when you’re assembling it just in time to slay a large flying creature that’s about to land and eat you. We can thank JJ for that bit of writing*

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  31. it sounds like harrison has a major role, and the movie leads into finding Hamill. So i’m curious about the size of Carrie Fischers role?

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  32. prediction: Gleeson and Hamill

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  33. I can’t help but think that they are going to utilize Leia’s intuition to start the film in some way. Whether it be a threat or a disturbance or Luke possibly missing or in danger(or all of the above).

    The best thing about Star Wars was the mystery and the seeking through adventure to discover the answers…

    The major theme of JJ’s work so far has been how a group of people with unique abilities come together to respond to a crisis.

    (He is not great with villains, so I am worried about that.)

    I think that JJ will make Star Wars fun again, because he knows how to have a story lift-off.

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  34. rinky dinky doo July 29, 2014 at 08:26 AM

    Well there was some rumors that in Arnts script the big 3 was in prison.

    Maybe JJ and Kasdan has alter this so it’s only luke that’s missing. And that this is his “prison”

    The other character cloud be the main villain…….. Maybe Leia.

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  35. Luke probably buggered off for 30 years after seeing Hayden Christensen was his dad at the end of jedi

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  36. Secret Jedi Training base ? If you can’t sense where it is you can’t be trained.

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  37. I’m not really sure that qualifies as a photo of Mark Hamill. It’s just a blue blur, obscured by text!!

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    1. Right. How convenient that he’s located “between the 5 and the 2″. You can tell because it’s a blue shirt (probably).

      It’s 2014. Cameras have a shit ton more resolution than that.

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  38. They really exceeded themselves with this location. It is something eroic to film there!

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  39. I like those upstairs, man. I like it so much.
    Every step says there’s something mysterious on the top.
    Go there, and you will find the truth..

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  40. Does anybody know who the supposed second actor is yet? That will say a lot about the movie’s plot.

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    1. Look at the July 29th comment at 3:08 and 4:32.

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  41. Hidden Jedi relic/holocron written all over this location.

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  42. Anyone else find it interesting that photos of filming on this island are much easier to come across than photos of the Dean Forest shooting?

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    1. Telephoto cameras from boats off the island, no doubt.

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  43. I sincerely hope to see all of the OT characters getting to interact with one another on screen just like in the OT again, as from everything that I have seen & read about behind-the-scenes content Harrison, Mark, Carrie, etc. had a blast working with each other, & I would love to see that dynamic revisited.

    Having said that, the news of the OT casts’ return has turned into somewhat of a mixed bag to me, as purely from a selfish perspective… damn… I truly hope the returning cast does not get killed off at any point in the ST. All I know is that when news of their return hit, nowhere in my mind did I ever think that they were just coming back to be killed in favor of new people,
    until I began to read that many fans expected it – even thought it was a good idea – *sigh* literally the one and only thing that could ever make me scoff at the idea of an ST is seeming more possible than ever before, & that worries the heck out of me because I like(d) the OT too much to even picture the thought of the superheroes at its’ helm meeting their end, especially seeing the OT cast in recent interviews speaking of how happy they are to be back on a Star Wars set.

    Anyways, aside from that I CANNOT wait for Episode 7 as with J.J. harkening back to the OT style, beautiful locales being chosen and tremendous storyline potential on the horizon… it is really hard not to get sucked into the hype :)

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    1. There’s a documentary that came with one of the last set of Star Wars DVD’s (before Blu-Ray) where Kasdan said he thought Han should have been killed off in RotJ, but Lucas wouldn’t allow it. In the same doc, Harrison agreed that Han should have been killed. Don’t rule it out for Ep7.

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  44. Paulo Henrique July 29, 2014 at 20:18 PM

    Wow, this place is a paradise! The actors are lucky to be there!

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  45. Obiwantstoknow July 29, 2014 at 21:30 PM

    I think the second actor filming scenes here is Benedict cumberbatch he is the actor that they haven’t announced yet. Believe it. I hear there are at least 2 actors they will not confirm until the movie is released. I am pretty sure he is one….I was given hints by someone who would know but I could be wrong all I really know is there are at least two more actors no one knows about in this movie. And that their role is smaller in this but bigger in 8/9. Still I think 1 of them is Benedict C.
    Ps I have been using this posting name for a Long time I am not as of yet in that obi wants to know me thing.just a coincidence that I chose that.

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    1. I doubt very much Cumberbatch is involved. He’s been way too over-exposed in recent years (something he actually said himself when denying he had any part in SW7).
      Time for him to take a rest!
      However, I tend to agree with you about as yet unannounced cast, but I think it’s an actress/es.

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  46. Well, if you look at the big 3′s imdb pages. None of them have anything scheduled following Star Wars. Nothing.

    That’s unusual that Mark doesn’t have anything scheduled for voice work since he is so busy.

    I think Luke will be the character that is in all 3 of the new trilogy.

    I don’t know about Leia and Han though. I can see there characters fading out…

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    1. Probably the death of Han will bring Leia to enter into the Forcé world, dark side probably. Leia corrupted could be interesting…

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      1. Not this late in life, I think. Leia going dark could perhaps have made an interesting plot if they were shooting the sequels around 1990, but not now. At this point Luke / Leia must have the role of wizened mentors for the younger generation, and their personalities and allignment (good not bad) were cemented long ago.

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  47. Obiwantstoknow July 29, 2014 at 21:35 PM

    I guess that’s pretty vague info but that’s all I could get out of the person who knows things. I made the speculation about Benedict C. On my own as I have heard rumors from other people that say he is in but take it for what it’s worth.

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  48. Obiwantstoknow July 29, 2014 at 21:51 PM

    If they use him in a role where he is in some time of heavy makeup or as an alien species it would not look like him so I think the over exposer thing is lessened. He is still my guess for the mystery actors.
    If you had a role in a film you could not even say you were in what would you say during interviews asking you if you were in……deny deny deny with some form of your own logic with some truth mixed in with your denial. Just saying but you do make a valid point anon 21:41
    Jim I like your points too but the like button won’t let me add one to ya for some reason.

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  49. Yaaaaay. I don’t think I read one comment about Ventress.
    I hope the Villains in the ST are new and unheard of.
    On a side note, I have a hunch that Han will die in EP VII.

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    1. I think both Han and Leia will die somewhere between EpVII and EpIX.

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  50. Obiwantstoknow July 29, 2014 at 23:11 PM

    I think if Han dies it will be at the end of 8 similar to the original idea for esb it will be at the end of it and justice will be served in 9 …….note I didn’t refer to it as revenge. I think he will die to save leia or Luke or perhaps his child if they are in the movie. But I think they will let him live through 7

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  51. The island is very small, only have 0,6 mill= 1 km longitude. What will they filming there??? i don´t understand anything!!

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  52. Obiwantstoknow July 29, 2014 at 23:50 PM

    In post production they can add to the background so if they don’t want the scene to be on an island they add to it but whose to say they don’t want it to be an island they are filming there for the rock structures and probably the old monastery .

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  53. Pavel Langsholt July 30, 2014 at 04:51 AM

    I heard as well they had a few surprises as far as actors/actresses that is being snuck in and out everyday and we would know who it was til 12/18/15. One of the guesses I heard was Sigourney Weaver.

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    1. Being 6ft tall, Sigourney Weaver would stand out in a crowd, surely.

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  54. I like the look of the locations, that have been shown so far. I wish people would stop complaining about what is going on. Every one trying to voice there opinion, like this is politics.

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  55. Remember the “deadly desert” in ‘Return to Oz’? That was a good idea. Star Wars could modify it for future film.

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  56. Deadly desert was bad ass… sad that movie didn’t get a bigger budget but it definitely had some awesome moments.

    So that camera mounted on the helicopter in the 2nd video… looks like a huge enclosure… IMAX camera?

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