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Still no official confirmation on Star Wars filming in New Mexico

By Leonard Martinez
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:27:42 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 24 2013 04:48:32 PM CDT
Harrison Ford In 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Fox/Lucasfilm Image

In 1980, Ford reprised his Han Solo role for the "Star Wars" sequel "The Empire Strikes Back." He's seen here, at far right, with Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.

EL PASO, Texas -

Perhaps, a Jedi mind trick is in order to get someone to confirm the rumors that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will film in New Mexico.

Latino Review, a pop culture news blog, is reporting part of the next installment of the Star Wars saga will be shot in Las Cruces. According to the Huffington Post and various other sites, Latino Review has a good track record of breaking news on J.J. Abrams' projects.

The Latino Review story came on the heels of One Headlight Ink, New Mexico’s online column commenting on contemporary entertainment and issues, reporting recently that the film would be shot in New Mexico.

Las Cruces Mayor Kenneth Miyagishima told ABC-7 he hasn't heard anything about the possible filming in his city.

White Sands Missile Range, with its beautiful dunes and gorgeous skies, could no doubt double for Luke Skywalker's home world of Tatooine.

But Arlan Ponder, director of media relations at Holloman Air Force Base which oversees the missile range, says all is quiet on the Star Wars front with them.

"I have received no word on any scouting visits to Holloman," Ponder said in an email. "Holloman has been a part of a number of major motion picture projects to include: Transformers, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen and Star Trek Into Darkness. We have also been scouted to play a part in several other motion picture projects such as Book of Eli, Man of Steel, Lone Survivor, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and several others, however, for various reasons we were not chosen as filming locations. White Sands Missile Range was also the filming location for portions of the pilot for SGU Stargate Universe."

Ponder said, "When we did Transformers and SGU, the companies chose to shoot at White Sands Missile Range. They specifically wanted the white sands and the dunes. Therefore, they had to have access to that portion of WSMR. The fastest, and easiest, way to get there was through Holloman. We handled all the logistics with getting the equipment, personnel and production team on base. This included weapons, ammunition (even though they were shooting blanks), explosives, aircraft, vehicles, catering, etc."

When asked by ABC-7 last week about the Star Wars rumor, the New Mexico Film Office told ABC-7 they don't comment on anything until a news release is sent out confirming any filming deals.

Disney, LucasFilm, and director J.J. Abrams have not released any statement on the possibility of New Mexico as a filming location.

Kathleen Kennedy, the new head of Lucasfilm, was quoted in May as saying the movie would start production in the United Kingdom in 2014. The movie is set for release in 2015.

Stars of the original trilogy - Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher - are all rumored to be included in the new film.

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