According to doomsayers and the Mayan Calendar, the end of the world occurs at sunrise tomorrow. So, what does that have to do with Star Wars? Well, a little known fact is filmmaker George Lucas chose the ancient Mayan ruins in the city of Tikal in Guatemala to shoot scenes for the original “Star Wars.” The backdrop of the ruins and jungle stood in for the rebel base on Yavin 4. From this base, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill,) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) successfully launched an attack and destroyed the Empire’s most powerful weapon, the Death Star.
Now Walt Disney Pictures announced in October that the base would return, but with a different purpose, in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII” as Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Knight Academy.
“Yavin 4 and the rebel base return to the Star Wars plot in the forthcoming Episode VII, announced in October by the Walt Disney Co, in which Skywalker comes back to the planet to build a Jedi Knight Academy. However, fans said that Disney will likely film those scenes in a studio rather than return to Tikal.”
This would not be the first time Yavin 4 was mentioned as a site for Skywalker’s Jedi Knight Training Academy. In 1994, author Kevin J. Anderson wrote The Jedi Academy Trilogy novels, while Raven Software developed the first and third-person shooter “Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy” video game distributed by LucasFilm in 2003. Both media formats had Skywalker involved with rebuilding the Jedi order on the Yavin moon.
The as of yet untitled “Star Wars: Episode VII” film is expected to open in theaters in May of 2015. Academy Award winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”) is penning the script. No director has been hired at this time.