News about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII seems to come in waves. We won’t hear anything for a bit, then every day for a week there are rumors and set photos and reports and concept art. Some of it has come from unlikely sources, but this latest tidbit comes from perhaps the most unlikely yet, James Bond. Or at least from a James Bond, in this case Roger Moore.
There’s nothing super SPOILER-y in this, but if you’re sensitive to such things, you may want to steer clear.
When you’re famous, you get to do all kinds of cool stuff, including paying a visit to the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. You have to imagine there’s a strip search involved at some point, in addition to metal detectors and X-rays. Kevin Smith stopped by, and, recently, so did Roger Moore. He’s apparently pals with Abrams, and though he likely had to sign away certain body parts on an NDA, he went ahead and spilled the beans about some of what he saw on set, which includes an icy, mountainous planet.
Here’s what he said in a BBC interview, we’ll do what we can to pick it apart later:
Roger Moore: …Anyway, the day before last, I know we stopped by the office, and I went up to see – on a very closed, secret set – my friend J. J. Abrams, who is directing Star Wars.
BBC: Ooh, wow!
Moore: …With Harrison Ford.
BBC: So, what were they filming that day? Can you tell me?
Moore: Well, yes! They were filming something with a lot of mountains and snow.
BBC: Okay, hmm.
Moore: But I’m assigned to secrecy.
In addition to Star Wars, London’s Pinewood Studios has also long been the home of the world’s most famous super spy (fame seems like a bad thing if you’re a super spy), so Moore is probably pretty familiar with the surroundings.
But most importantly, what about this ice planet? Moore doesn’t say much, but if you’re like us, your first thought was probably, “this has to be Hoth.” And while that’s very possible, it’s just as likely that it’s not. We’ve been hearing, since the early days of us finding out that Episode VII was going to exist, that there might be an ice planet in the mix somewhere. There’s even that concept drawing of Han Solo wearing an outfit that looks startlingly close to the one he donned in The Empire Strikes Back.
That all points to cold, wintery environs, but that doesn’t automatically mean we’re talking about Hoth. Returning to a familiar location could be one way for Abrams and company to tap into the ever-present fan nostalgia. And if the plot does involve Han, Chewie, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley searching for a missing Luke Skywalker who is hiding out somewhere (we’ve heard he’s on Dagobah), it’s possible they could revisit old haunts, Hoth among them.
Still, though these rumors have been around for a while, it’s also been prominently said that Hoth isn’t the only out of the way ice planet in the galaxy. That appears to indicate that this is somewhere we haven’t been yet, not Hoth.
I do have a theory, which is all mine and completely unverified, and I’ll share that now if you’re interested. We know that Episode VII spent a few days filming on the picturesque Irish island of Skellig Michael, which is where we saw all of those cool stone huts, remnants of a monastery. We’ve also heard reports that those are a kind of control center for a Sith super weapon, that they somehow managed to weaponize an entire planet (like a mega Death Star). One more thing we heard is that the production could return to Skellig Michael later this year, around November (reports have been conflicting), when the weather is cold and bitter and everything is barren and much more formidable in appearance. So one possibility that occurred to me is that perhaps this new ice world is the planet the Sith have turned into a weapon of mass destruction. You could certainly make a case for that.
Like everything with this film, we won’t know for certain until we sit down in the movie theater on December 18, 2015, when Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to open.