Scenes of the film, which will focus on character Han Solo, will be filmed in several locations around the Canary Island of Fuerteventura beginning next week and continuing into June.
Filming is due to start next week in Cañada de la Barca on the south of the island and a base camp has already been established where a 250-strong crew and actors will be based.
Around 160 locals have also been contracted to work on the film project as well as some 200 extras.
— Kirstein Cox (@CoxKirstein) April 26, 2017
The filming area on the peninsula of Jandía – a natural park which is popular with tourists – has been completely shut off while the filming takes place, with a ban on cameras and smartphones near the set to maintain the utmost secrecy surrounding the plot.
Earthmovers and dozens of all-terrain vehicles have been brought into the zone, reported La Provincia de Las Palmas.
But sneaky aerial photos have already emerged of a set in place in the sand dunes on the island, although Canarias reported that flight restrictions have been placed over the zone to prevent further leaks.
— Star Wars News (@starwarsVIII8) May 9, 2017
Movie fans will have to wait until the release, scheduled for May 2018, to know which fictional planet is created using the arid landscape of Fuerteventura.
It’s not the first time a location in Spain has played host to a Star Wars film.
Seville’s iconic Plaza de España stood in for the city of Theed on the planet Naboo in the Star Wars prequel, Attack of the Clones.
Plaza de España in Seville as seen in Attack of the Clones.
The latest spinoff — set before the events of the original “Star Wars: A New Hope” — will explore the adventures of a young Han Solo and Chewbacca.
The cast includes Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Woody Harrelson (Han Solo’s mentor), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Emilia Clarke, and Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Westworld star Thandie Newton will also star in the film.
The film, a collaboration between Disney and Lucasfilm, is being directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
After the Canary Islands, filming will move to locations in Italy.