Lucasfilm has confirmed that the first of the new Star Wars sequels, Star Wars: Episode VII, will be shot and produced in the UK.
J.J. Abrams is to direct Star Wars: Episode VII
In a statement, Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, said: "We've devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I'm thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilising the incredible talent there can be a part of that."
The announcement, although a surprise to many, follows a meeting between Lucasfilm and Chancellor George Osborne earlier in the year where talks of a tax break for the film were discussed. Upon the announcement of the news, Osborne took to Twitter, joking: 'May the force be with us...'
Lucasfilm has not confirmed specifically where the new film will be shot but Star Wars fan website Jedinews
has speculated that Pinewood studios may be one of the sites. Meanwhile The Sun also reported that scenes would be shot in the Highlands and the Isle of Skye.
Star Wars: Episode VII
Being directed by J.J. Abrams, who has recently seen success with the reboot of Star Trek on the big screen, the new Star Wars film is expected to be released in 2015. It's story will take place some time after the events of the last Star Wars film, Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, and is expected to follow the development of Luke Skywalker as the galaxy rebuilds after the collapse of the empire.
On board to write the film is Oscar-winning writer, Michael Ardnt, who has previously worked on the likes of Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story and the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Disney, who bought Lucasfilm and Lucasarts (which it subsequently closed
) from George Lucas back in October 2012, has committed to creating three new Star Wars films, though no anticipated release dates have been pinned to episodes VIII and IX.
Star Wars Games
On the Star Wars gaming side of things, it was also revealed recently that EA has won near-exclusive game-creation rights
to the franchise. Only mobile and social gaming rights have been left open for other parties. No games from the new deal have yet been announced though it's expected that EA-owned BioWare will be allowed to continue producing role-playing games set in the Star Wars universe, as follow-ups to its existing Knights of the Old Republic titles.