The mystery box is insignificant next to the power of the Force. Filming on Star Wars: Episode VII began a couple weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, and now set photos have begun to leak out. The images are what you’d expect from a Star Wars movie in terms of set decoration and costume design, although they’ve been slightly updated and I can believe that the fashion and technology glimpsed in these photos come 30 years after the original trilogy—different, but not so much that they bear almost no resemblance to previous designs. Additionally, true to what producer Kathleen Kennedy said back in 2013, there will be practical effects, and these images provide a look at a new creature.
Hit the jump for more on the Star Wars: Episode VII set photos . The film opens on December 18, 2015 and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.
TMZ has posted over 40 images from the set, and the biggest surprise is that they’re using a practical creature, which means that there will (hopefully) be more practical effects throughout the movie. That doesn’t mean practical effects are inherently better, but it’s an encouraging sign that the production recognizes practical and digital effects as tools that can be used to best tell the story. I’m not exactly sure what the story is behind this creature, which looks like someone crossbred a warthog with a rhinoceros and then sat on it, but it’s a fun design.