You’d better hurry to Dubrovnik if you want to get your last glimpse of Star Wars this year. Filming has ended a week ago, so pretty much everything has been cleaned up. That said, you might still get to see something Star Wars related. Not ready to book the tickets? Well, how about sitting back and enjoying this recap of the best and coolest news from Dubrovnik. Spoilers are coming below, so beware!!
Dubrovnik is a city in Croatia, that boasts some amazing castles and castle-like structures, as well as some fantastic medieval-looking streets. We’ve never really seen anything “Medieval” in Star Wars, so this is a great location to doctor-up to look out of this world.
Back over a year before The Force Awakens came out, there was a rumor, posted at MakingStarWars, that mentions a scene toward the end of the movie that featured an “Exotic City”. It seems to have come true, in a sense. Although this scene didn’t make it in the movie, the concept art emerged after the movie came out:
So now, fans have speculated, that maybe the shots filmed in Dubrovnik are meant for this concept. After all, if it was supposed to happen at the end of TFA, maybe it just got bumped to Episode VIII?
What would that mean exactly? At the time when the rumor came out over a year ago, there was speculation at MSW that this was related to the planet with the Rebel base, now known to be D’Qar. However, we now know that this planet is very out of the way in the outer rim. Would such a city really exist way out there? Maybe. But this place some how seems to make more sense a little bit toward the center of the galaxy to me. Just a wild hunch.
StarWarsDubrovnik.com has recent posted some photos made by fan Gábor Könczöl, that show a location in Dubrovnik that would be absolutely perfect for this shot:
What’s amazing to me here is the green-screen right where that ship’s hangar is in the conept art. This would make the perfect location for a CGI add-on like a ship. They could even add those medieval lights to the walls in post. The castle rising up from the background is also a definitely possibility. I expect to see space ships rising up in the background.
We also reported in our last recap about some explosions being filmed. Here is a shot from filming:
That’s a guy jumping back into a doorway from a dining area. There were a lot of these kinds of shots it seems, of the street areas, all being illuminated by neon. In the interest of being a recap here, they took a street location like this (note the “before” door to the right):
and turned it to this:
And ultimately to the final product where filming took place (the one with the flash two images up). Amazing what a little foam, LED lights and imagination can cook up.
The big question here is…what will be filmed here? From the looks of it, we’ll probably have a scene like the concept art, that shows our heroes entering a strange new world. The will walk down the street as weird characters lumber by. Then, according to the reports, we will have some sort of chase scene. We know from many videos of cameras on runners, that are filmed zooming past. Here is an example:
What isn’t clear is how will the chase happen? We know there will be speeders there, like this one:
This image was filmed right before another explosion, so the timing in the movie is right. So, could this speeder be the one chasing or being chased? My guess is that our heroes will be the one’s being chased in this one, and they may have to rely on some beastly means of transportation. There was a number of shots of a “space horse”, like these here:
The second one probably shows Finn (does he still have that same jacket?) and possibly Rey riding the horse. That said, it could also be the unknown character played by Kelly Marie Tran, who was reported to be cast in the film. In fact, back it January it was said that production was delayed at the same time that they brought on an Asian actress. It would make a lot of sense if the re-writes mentioned that caused the delay were to bring in this actress for the Dubrovnik scenes. The timing makes me think that this might be plausible.
The final point that I wanted to make was about the outfits. You’ll notice that in a lot of the photos, there are people in tuxedos:
So why would this be? Many have speculated that this could be a funeral, or a memorial service for either Han Solo, or the Republic Senate, both of whom were killed in TFA. Others have countered this by saying that this would be “milking Han’s death” too much. I am of the opinion that it was a little strange that we didn’t see Han’s memorial in TFA, and given that Episode VIII seems to begin right where TFA left off, it wouldn’t be too strange to see it in VIII. Everything was so rushed at the end of the movie, so I wouldn’t think it would be bad to begin this one still thinking about Han. The other possibility is this is just some high-society planet that has a lot of well dressed people. But why would they go there? The first reason might be to pick up the new character played by Kelly Tran. The other reason is probably to find some clue in a trail of clues leading to…something. At this point we know so little about the plot that this one is wide open. That said, we could plausibly have something like AotC where the heroes are taken from one place to another to track down something, like information leading to a villain.
Speaking of villains, it is certainly plausible that Benicio del Toro’s character is from the planet, or connected to it in the story in some way. There were some rumors (found via MSW) that he would be filming in Dubrovnik. He visited there late last year, so for all we know he could cruise up there in his boat and no one would know!