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Blueprints & Concepts: Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Pirate’s Cove! Set names!

Pirate’s Cove is a rebel base. The pirates we discussed yesterday are a different kind of pirate as far as I’m concerned. My guess is that Pirate’s Cove used to be some kind of smuggler’s base and the rebels took the base over somehow.

I have concluded that at this juncture with the evidence provided to me, Pirate’s Cove’s exteriors were filmed at Greenham Common. The interiors were meant to evoke the feeling of the rebel base from Yavin as seen in A New Hope.

You might recall seeing a few extras at the Greenham Common set. One had a blaster that was the same kind of blaster we saw the Rebel Troopers use in A New Hope. I have seen photographs of the actual prop itself. The gun is sort of the same, has a little more bronze on it and has a more of a tarnished look to it. The prop itself is labeled as a “Pirate Machine Gun.” Knowing that the extras at Greenham Common had the gun, we can ascertain that most likely “pirate” refers to the cove and not the band of pirates we saw yesterday that would not use that gun (its not their style in my opinion).

I am also of the opinion showing two rebel bases is a bit much. For Pirate’s Cove and Greenham Common to depict two bases would be overkill and confusing. Showing two planets with oceans is also a bit much considering how one dimensional Star Wars planets are, environmentally speaking. With that in mind, it seems the rebel base or Pirate’s Cove is on the same planet the castle with the cyborg is located on. We have seen art that appears to be the Falcon leaving a burning castle where the heroes face the cyborg. We have also seen other paintings where the heroes appear to be returning home and its a green planet with lots of water and rocks. As always, I could be wrong because I’m missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. But that’s the picture we’re getting right now from these various works.

There were many different discussion proposals for how to structure the sets. The vast majority of the blueprints were designed for the The Richard Attenborough Stage or E & H Stages at Pinewood Studios.

Some sets for Pirates Cove include:

  • Sun Terrace
  • Rose’s Room
  • Walk-in freezer
  • Map Room
  • Passageway
  • “Dusty” Back Room
  • Pier (overlooks the ocean)
  • The Cliff Face

An interesting thing about “Roses’s Room” is the stage needs to be raised “for puppetry requirements.” We may even know the puppet that is to be used but we can’t be very sure yet. Who is “Rose?” We’ve heard the name attributed as another code name for “Snow Girl,” “Kira,” and “Fawn.” In a piece we will discuss later, there is a gypsy styled puppet and the name rose might be a playful codename for “Gypsie Rose Lee,” a 1950’s burlesque dancer. The character is not attractive like Gypsie Rose Lee so its simply a word association, if accurate. It could mean “Kira” or it could be someone else entirely.

Outside the Map Room, there is a landing pad for The Falcon.  Behind the Falcon is the location of the sun terrace.

Another digital concept for the pirate’s cove is a digital model of a console. Basically, there’s six single units that lock together to make a control panel (imagine six office copiers put together with a screen between them). They have reuse value in that they can be disconnected and used as a single consoles (maybe even for future films). The six consoles line up in two rows of three. Then a single screen sits between them. I’m guessing the screen is transparent glass like the one Leia is looking at in A New Hope during the Death Star attack. At the time this was drawn up, the number of consoles to be made was not yet decided.

There’s a really neat, very realistic painting of two X-wing fighters docked inside. One X-wing is very near the camera, at an angle. It looks like the classic X-wings seen in A New Hope. The other X-wing is the same too. Both have the classic red paint design on them. Some of the boxes and gear around the X-wing look really similar to the stuff we saw at Greenham Common exterior shots. I believe we may be looking inside the hanger but the doors are closed (there’s really no way for the X-wing to get out if not). Behind the X-wings you can see a lot of creates and machines in a well lit area. The shot kind of reminds me of an Echo Base shot in that there’s a lot going on behind the X-wing. You can see pillars holding the structure up and there’s a lot of green vines growing up the grey stones of the structure.

Each of the underground bunker areas house three X-wings. Two fit in the back (like the ones I described above) and one is ready to fly out in the front of the hanger areas. What’s interesting is the X-wings do not actually fit inside the sets. So the right wings are removed from the two in the rear (the same thing happened on The Phantom Menace with the Naboo Fighter’s tails).

It appears for the Cliff Face shots, they Falcon is not entirely built either. Just the front third. For the way the layout is structured, the ship would actually be hanging outside the stage. The Falcon looks out over the cliff so I imagine they planned to shoot a shot of the cliff and the Falcon flying out over it.

I hate to revive the Mystery of the Carousel but its my blog and I’ll do what I want. When the entire base is laid out, it has two Falcon style ships on it. One on the East side (the Sun Terrace) and one on the West Side (placed with six X-wings in the main hanger). Is it just showing us two locations to land the Falcon? The schematics I’ve looked at for the seats and the chessboard identify the ship as the “Carousel.” But other schematics from the same time do not. I think the chances of two Falcons is not high but why the name on half the plans and not the other half?

All in all, Pirate’s Cove captures the classic vibe of the rebel locations we’ve seen A New Hope and mixes them with the complexities and real-world lived in look of Echo Base from The Empire Strikes Back. I do believe the only pirate there is Han Solo, his partner Chewbacca, and their pirate ship, The Falcon.





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Jason Ward (EIC)

Owner, Editor and content supervisor of MakingStarWars.net
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