Like its six predecessors, Star Wars: Episode VII will be filmed in the United Kingdom, Lucasfilm announced today. “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 utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that,” company president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement posted on the official Star Wars website Friday. “Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun and recently War Horse, it’s very exciting to be heading back.” Portions of the previous Star Wars films were shot at British studios such as Shepperton and Pinewood. Production should be starting soon on Episode VII as the J.J. Abrams-directed and Michael Arndt-scripted movie is expected out in 2015. In fact, Kennedy and the rest of the Jedi gang might be back in Britain for a while. Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in October and immediately announced that three new Stars Wars films would be coming in the next several years. The return to the UK also likely includes some sweet tax benefits for the hugely successful franchise. The online announcement noted that “earlier this year, representatives from Lucasfilm met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in London to establish an agreement to produce Star Wars in the UK” and had a gushing comment from the government minister accompanying it.
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