It seems as though we have a few possible location nuggets to pass along regarding the future Star Wars live-action series. Some of it is purely speculative...if by "some of it" we mean all of it..but the speculation itself seems reasonable enough.
Retired Rebelscum veteran, Jeremy Beckett, spotted this article at TheNational.ae regarding tourism in Tunisia at the famous Tatooine filming locations. The part that makes us sit up and take notice follows below as writer Suleman Din continues to describe his family's trip to the area:
"And just minutes away is the top of a sand dune with a panoramic view of the best-kept Star Wars location in Tunisia, the abandoned movie set called Mos Espa.
My children excitedly ran off into the make-believe city, yelling and going in and out of alien structures and playing hide-and-seek. But you don?t have to be a child to marvel at the collection of 30 buildings. They are the same constructs found in the underground home in Matmata ? fa?ades of wood, mesh, and plaster ? but on a larger-than-life-size scale. To be in the middle of the set is to be in the middle of a Star Wars movie itself; moisture evaporators stand vigilant in the main thoroughfare, while alleyways lead to rectangular portals and dust-coloured dwellings featuring cones, domes, arches and alien gizmos. Many of the city?s aliens and spaceships in the movie were computer-generated, but this is a real place that you can walk through. It is hard not to grin at the silly fantasy of it all.
The surprise for us, though, was that we found it bustling with activity. A number of labourers were renovating, repainting and building new buildings. Ironically, the effort to build these alien structures was done in a very human way; one man applied plaster with his bare hands, others sat and smoked in the shade of an alien hall.
One worker who spoke English, Farouk Ben Ibrahim, came forward to explain. Renovations began back in December, he said, after an Italian film producer contracted locals. ?He gives us money, and we fix it,? Ibrahim said. ?He said there is another part of Star Wars filming here. In the summer, maybe.?'
Jeremy believes that this could simply be due to the Tunisian tourist board trying to preserve a money-making tourism location. On the other hand, what if it was needed for the future filming of a certain television show? It's worth a thought at least.
Next, our friend Tagne from French fan site StarWars-Universe.com sent over a couple links pointing to the Czech Republic as a possible live-action series filming location. Incidentally, Prague previously hosted filming of several episodes of The Adventures Of The Young Indiana Jones in the 90's. Now onto the links with excerpts:
ScreenDaily.com reports on George Lucas, while visiting the set of Red Tails, appealing to Czech politicians for more filming incentives within the Czech Republic:
"Lucas denied previous reports that he had decided to film the Star Wars TV series in Australia. He said if he brought the production to the Czech Republic, it would last four to seven years, creating up to 700 jobs.
?[Czech] politicians should remember that it?s not just film productions they?re losing: We also pay for hotels, locations, cars and other services. As much as 70 percent of the budget stays in the country where we shoot,? Lucas said."
Along the same lines (and a bit more direct), FilmCommission.cz reports on current Red Tails filming in the Czech Republic:
"The Lucasfilm Ltd. production of Red Tails is in full swing, and producers George Lucas and Rick McCallum are already considering a second project to shoot in the Czech Republic...
...Lucas and McCallum previously filmed several episodes of The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones in the Czech Republic and were eager to return for Red Tails. ?We have been consistently impressed with the country's talented film professionals, the high quality of the local craftsmanship and the beauty of the Czech Republic's widely varied locations,? McCallum said.
Lucasfilm would like to bring a third production to the Czech Republic in January 2010 ? a new property in the iconic Stars Wars franchise, made for TV. The $150m production would last four to seven years."
Finally, Tagne adds that (per our previous post) the Screen Australia website has removed Star Wars from its upcoming production report. This could mean a number of things: Lucasfilm asked them to take it down, Lucasfilm is moving production, there is a glitch in the Matrix. Who knows at this point? All we know is that we don't know nothing...but man is it fun to speculate and get excited either way.
We'll be sure to keep you posted with more speculation and hopefully some concrete news sooner than later.
Big thanks to Jeremy and Tagne for their links and contributions!