Sequel TrilogyThe Force Awakens

Spoilers: In Depth Details on Star Wars: Episode VII’s Pinewood Sets.

Following various leaks over the last weeks, we have seen some of the Pinewood sets. We have also heard many rumors over the last few months about various structures and designs being built at Pinewood. There has been a rumor floating around for the last year that Michael Arndt’s draft featured Hoth to an extent. It wasn’t as if that draft was thrown out entirely, it was simply reworked with different character focuses for the first film of the trilogy (if the rumors are accurate). Other reputable fan sites have heard rumors of crashed ships on Hoth and there was supposedly a crashed ship on Tatooine as well. That report was pretty much verified when the TMZ photos hit and confirmed many details from the story, the only thing missing from the TMZ photos was the crashed ship, but the “Centuries old market,” structure, and explosions were accurate. A small Tatooine set built on the Pinewood backlot was verified with picture proof .

The contents that follow were posted before said picture proof came down last week, which makes the information about the Pinewood sets fascinating and somewhat credible.

A poster at IMDB hit many accurate marks with his or her comments on the sets to such a degree the person is most likely someone that has been there, as far as we can tell. This post has a lot of repetition, so please bare with it, we’re just trying to use the poster’s words on each set thoroughly.

First lets look at the information on Hoth from various posts:

  • And there is an ice planet set… very possibly Hoth.
  • The Hoth set (if it is Hoth and not another ice planet) was also great, has a crashed ship in the snow…

The source admits they couldn’t see the details in depth:

There is a ship crashed into the ice planet set, but I couldn’t get close enough to see any detail. It wasn’t finished, but the “snow” surface was. Seems weird to think it’s not Hoth, having seen it, and knowing they’re shooting in Iceland for exteriors. It’s definitely not the same ship as the rocket-type ship on the outdoor Tatooine set.

So apparently there’s a crashed ship on Hoth, or a snow planet for that matter. Third time’s a charm:

Well, at this point, I have no idea why Hoth. It could very well be an entirely different ice planet, so who knows. All I know is there’s a ship crashed in it.

It would seem to me it would be weird to add another snow planet that confuses people with it being Hoth. Star Wars: The Clone Wars introduced two snow planets to us and I would say only Ilum would be a possibility, as that is where young Jedi obtain their lightsaber crystals. But all of this information isn’t pointing towards that local.

For a final time, the poster isn’t totally sure it is in fact Hoth itself:

I assumed it’s Hoth, being a fan favourite rather than some other generic ice planet but of course it could be just that.

The Imperial looking “docking bay” set might have been glimpsed in the recent TMZ photos. However, looking at a set in mid-construction doesn’t really tell us everything we need to know. It is also worth noting that we aren’t totally sure when the TMZ set photos where taken, we just know when they were leaked. So there’s a chance this person saw the final products whereas TMZ’s pictures only showed us the beginning of construction of the set.

docking bay:

  • there is a huge Imperial set built at Pinewood.
  • This set is massive, about three storeys (sic) high, no blue or green screens, all built in black and chrome, with platforms and gantries etc.
  • I can’t imagine it’s anything other than an Imperial set.
  • The thing about the Imperial set is that it’s totally pristine. It didn’t look abandoned or un-maintained for 30 years.

The source elaborates on the Imperial Set say in is called “AVCO HOT SET”:

It just looks Imperial, if you know what I mean. It’s black/dark grey, chrome, with low key lighting. It didn’t have the traditional Imperial lighting vertical strip design, though. It just doesn’t look like anything else, though. It definitely looked more like a base than a ship, unless it’s something like a hangar area in a very big ship. Didn’t look like a bridge. It was about three storeys high and there was no green or blue screen anywhere.

Now lets look at the source’s words on the Tree Dwelling set and he admits he hopes it isn’t Endor but that it could be Kashyyyk but probably not:

  • Not sure what it is going to be, but it was HUGE. A tree-dwelling…
  • possibly it’s Kashyyyyyyyk.
  • The tree dwelling was also interesting because what I saw didn’t look like either Endor/Ewok or Kashyyyk.
  • I’m hoping that it’s Yavin IV.

The source describes the Tatooine set “as very easy to see” which we saw leaked last week from the Pinewood backlot.

The Tatooine set:

The Tatooine set is great, but it is what it is, looks like Tatooine.

There is a rocket on the Tatooine set which is not the same as the “Hoth” set:

  • It’s about the size of a football pitch and has dwellings and other types of buildings we’ve seen before. There is also a rocket-like structure on this set, though what that is or whether it will remain there I don’t know.
  • There’s barely a blue or green screen to be seen (apart from a massive one at the back of the outdoor Tattooine (sic) set).

A few notes on Pinewood:

Official pre-production didn’t start till last summer and production started this spring. That’s what the AVCO papers at Pinewood say.

When asked about phones at Pinewood:

We’re not allowed to carry phones on the lot, so unfortunately there’s no way to take a pic. And everyone on the lot has been warned in very strong terms not to do so.

On Pinewood’s signage:

It cracks me up that the AVCO signs are everywhere in place of “Star Wars” and yet they’re in the same font, just like Blue Harvest was. Not sure what the point of a code name is if it doesn’t conceal anything…

Obviously, there’s a lot to take in. Some of the details match with what other sources have told us and our peers in the last months. Other things cannot or haven’t been verified yet. So consider it food for thought, but there’s some grounding to all of this. There isn’t as much grounding as I would like, admittedly. At the base level, just look at them as “these things were said” because they were and a lot of it lines up. There are lots of things that remain murky in this report, but that’s the nature of the beast, I suppose.

Thanks to our friend for helping us fish out the deleted messages and for pointing us in the right direction in this.






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Jason Ward (EIC)

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