Shooting on the seventh film in the Star Wars saga started this week, but the production isn’t turning to Tunisia to approximate the main character’s roots.
Star Wars creator George Lucas used Tunisia to represent Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine starting back in 1977. The new production is using Abu Dhabi as its Tatooine stand-in.
Abrams and cast — which includes Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisherwith new additions Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson,Max von Sydow and Daisy Ridley — flew to Abu Dhabi in early May, with the support of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and twofour54 intaj.
Hundreds of local and international cast and crew are currently working on the production in Abu Dhabi with key production staff working closely with twofour54 intaj since January.
Abu Dhabi is a curious choice given the country’s recent worker abuse woes. Just last week The New York Times reported on horrific working conditions for employees at New York University’s new Abu Dhabi campus. Abu Dhabi’s migrant workers also face dehumanizing treatment, according to a 2013 article in The Guardian.