You might remember last August, our good buddy Jordan at cinelinx.com dropped this photo of a Pinewood set:
Today, we’re going to talk about what happens there based on the painted storyboards and production paintings taking place at this location.
Frame one of three:
It is dark. The sky is starry. A ship lands that looks like mixture of an Imperial Shuttle and a Sandcrawler. Its brown in this painting (note: this shuttle has a lot of alternate designs). It honestly looks like an Art Deco mobile home if they made them. It has short wings with guns on the wings. It has two front windows that are just rectangles and below it a ramp touches the sand like the classic Imperial Shuttle.
The ship lands at the village in the set pic above. In the distance you can see some kind of structure that appears to have built out of a crashed ship or something. It is very bright and illuminated as if it is burning. I believe this is probably the TMZ set in Abu Dhabi while the village landing was filmed at Pinewood.
Ascending from the ramp is a figure all in black with two Stormtroopers. You can see the hut from the photo above on fire. I believe in the photo above you can see the hut in the rear has scorch marks from the filming of this sequence already. The black figure in this painting is a little closer to the Revan styled design SWU posted recently (indeed additional concept art shows the evolution as being the same character). The figure in black is really doing a Darth Vader entrance, if you ask me.
Frame two of three:
The background is now entirely in flames. One Stormtrooper lays on the ground. He’s bleeding. There’s blood on his hand and he holds it up to his Stormtrooper brother who attempts to save his life. The blood runs down his arm. His brother has three blood marks on his helmet where the trooper touched his face before he collapsed to the ground. In the background, Stormtroopers continue to advance with flamethrowers burning the village. Lasers whip past their helmets, depicting fierce resistance.
Frame three of three:
In the final frame, the villain is depicted as Darth Vader (he’s a placeholder). We see him from the back and several Stormtroopers stand at his side. In the distance you can see the entire village is now in flames as the Incendiary Troopers have done their work well.
I believe this village is connected to the TMZ set and it is in the nearby outskirts. It appears the bad guys are hunting for John Boyega’s character who is with “Kira” played by Daisy Ridley. I believe this signifies the “you can’t go home” moment in the film. In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker rejects his call to adventure. In response, to make him take the journey, his home, along with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru are burned alive by Stormtroopers.
It seems in The Force Awakens, “Kira” is put on her path with no turning back when the life she once knew is burned to the ground the Empire, just like Luke Skywalker. Her friends and her entire way of life are gone. If the rumors are true and she’s a salvager, the bid station I’ve seen art for is burned in this sequence too. So “Kira” literally has no way of living or making a living on this planet after these events.
For a long time we didn’t know exactly what the action was at TMZ set. Now, I believe we know. In some of the production paintings the Falcon and an X-wing are there. That is still a mystery to me. Perhaps they flee from this area to the spaceport where the Falcon is docked and procure transport there?
Like always, one little mystery is solved and a few more pop up in its place. But that’s the fun of waiting for The Force Awakens.
A source I respect and trust greatly cannot confirm anything on this location. But they believe this set is away from the TMZ space port area. They suggested the Wickerman we described before actually inhabit these structures and are the resistance the Empire faces when it lands there. Looking at the Wickermen and their head dresses and the tops of these huts, I think that’s really probable.
The Wickermen had sniper riffles and that is probably who is firing back at the Stormtroopers.
There’s a chance the Empire lands in this area because Boyega’s TIE goes down about here. Perhaps the scavengers that ascend upon Boyega’s ship are out and the Wickermen replaced them?
Either way, if the Empire burns this village when it finally finds the Bid Station/Space Port, I imagine they aren’t friendly all of a sudden and remember, we do know there’s a lot of smoke at the TMZ set.