The Force Awakens DID indeed film in Scotland according to film insiders in the country. Whilst no acknowledgement has been made by Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts across Scotland, we are confident that these sources are well placed to finally bring confidence to the rumour that has rumbled on since 2013.
Buachaille Etive Mor with Allt Nan Gubhas, Glen Coe
The connections of Star Wars to Scotland is extensive, Dennis Lawson played the Rebel X-Wing fighter Wedge Antilles, his drama school class-mate Ian McDiarmid was Emperor Palpatine, and his nephew Ewan McGregor whom played the young Obi-Wan Kenobi – all hail from the country. As do Darth Maul actor Ray Park and of course, Doctor Who himself David Tennant voiced Prof Huyang in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Behind the scenes the list of talent making the movies is also extensive, and was most recently represented by Scots born The Force Awakens Assistant Director Tommy Gormley. Perhaps it that connection that has seen Star Wars shoot in Scotland for the latest film in the saga.
It has long been rumored that Star Wars would be shooting in Scotland for Episode VII but that appeared to not come to fruition. Tommy Gormley himself criticizing the fact that Scotland still has not invested in its own studio space. This was something that Star Wars: A New Hope Oscar winner Roger Christian also condemned when I talked with him about taking his motion feature Black Angel back to Scotland in a forthcoming episode of Radio 1138.
Eilean Donan Castle
Many of these rumours surfaced around the time that The Force Awakens producer Bryan Burk sent some substantial time in Scotland during pre-production. It’s worth reminding ourselves at this point that he also attended the Scottish open casting call in Glasgow that resulted in the Scottish University student Maisie Richardson-Sellers securing the role of Korr Sella in the movie. Her first major film role.
James Bond, Skyfall filmed at Glen Etive, next to the famous Glen Coe
The Force Awakens scene filmed at Thirlmere.
Glen Coe is just to the south of Fort William, with Skye marked by its major port of Portree.
This will not be the first time Disney has shot in Scotland in recent years, with Captain America: The First Avenger filming in the Royal Burgh of Culross in Fife in 2011 for its opening scenes.
Just last week the, culturally linked to Star Wars, short film Black Angel announced that it would return to Scotland to film for at least a week later this year.
What could be the significance of these scenes, we leave it up to you to decide, but the first minute of this Visit Scotland promotional video gives you a good idea of what we could be seeing in the big screen come December.
The areas of Scotland rumoured to have been filmed include the the mountainous regions of Glen Coe and Glen Etive – including the Munro peak Buachaille Etive Mor, as well as the world famous Eilean Donan Castle. Previously linked to The Force Awakens was the island of Skye, and the loch at Craignish, these areas were not mentioned in this latest rumour.
As with all things The Force Awakens, everything is mere rumour until confirmed by Lucasfilm.