A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Well, maybe not that far away, after all. Last year, the Star Wars franchise and studio Lucasfilm were bought by Disney for a staggering £2.5bn. Fans of the cult sci-fi films rejoiced; could this mean they would be once again thrust into the world of lightsabers, Death Stars and the omnipresent Force?
As it turns out, that’s exactly what is going to happen. Three new films are going to be made and it is rumoured the first will see the return of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. At the helm of the first new installment is the man who successfully rebooted Star Trek, J J Abrams. Tasked with directing what will surely be one of the most anticipated films of this decade, Abrams is in no doubt about the task at hand. “It is so massive and so important to people,” he said, recently.
In May, it was announced that the seventh film would be shot in Britain, returning the franchise to its British roots. Chancellor George Osborne hailed the move as ‘Great news for our creative industries,’ before adding, somewhat predictably, ‘May the force be with us!’.
Abrams is clearly putting everything into the new film. So much so, that he has recently announced plans to relocate his family to London to enable him to concentrate fully on bringing the Republic and the Galactic Empire back to life. It is quite a departure for a man who has shot all of his previous films in Los Angeles.
Abrams has been open about the trepidation both he and his family (in particular his children) feel about moving so far from home, but it is clear he is doing it to aid his work and further his career; how many other directors will get the chance to add Star Wars to their CV? Fortunately, it is likely that, on arrival in London, any fears he had about relocating will quickly be forgotten, such is the vibrancy of a city which continues to inspire creative industries.
Star Wars’ links to Britain look set to continue. As Mr Osborne highlighted, Disney’s eagerness to conduct filming in the very place the franchise began is testament to the facilities and talent available in Britain. It is also no wonder J J Abrams is upping sticks and bringing his family with him – we doubt he’ll look back.
Now all we have to do is wait until 2015 for the release!
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