They may be famous for their planet-hopping adventures in a galaxy far, far away, but could Luke, Leia and the team be descending upon the Forest of Dean for next year’s hotly anticipated Star Wars sequel?
Rumours were sparked after hundreds of crewmembers in trailers were seen arriving en-masse in the Forest, with BBC news informed that it was in fact Countryfile being filmed and not the latest instalment of the intergalactic epic.
The Forest of Dean has long since been a source of inspiration for directors and authors alike. JK Rowling grew up on the outskirts of the forest and filmed several scenes of Harry Potter here, while it is widely believed that the forest was one of the first main influences behind JRR Tolkien’s magical Lord of The Rings series.
More recently, the gnarled trees and winding pathways of Puzzlewood have been home to a certain Doctor, as well as being a filming location for BBC television series Atlantis, Merlin and the 2013 film Jack the Giant Slayer.
So are the Sith hiding out in Cinderford? Will the Millennium Falcon be landing in Monmouth? Is the Death Star being rebuilt in Dymock?
Here are our top 5 suggestions of where we might be feeling the force in the forest…
Puzzlewood. The luscious green backdrop could make an ideal forested planet landscape, leading to some speculating that it might soon be teeming with Ewoks, or that it might even be home to everyone’s favourite mini-jedi, Yoda.
Clearwell Caves. Could this natural cave system become a hostile subterranean environment on some alien planet? There are nine fascinating caverns in total, dating back over 4,000 years, all connected by underground passageways.
Symonds Yat Rock. The famous landmark is mostly used as a mammal and bird-spotting lookout, or as a climbing spot for the more adventurous, but there’s no denying it’d make a pretty awesome spot for a lightsaber battle…
Tintern Abbey. This remains the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales and was constructed back in the 12th century at the behest of the Lord of Chepstow, but might Tintern Abbey soon be swapping school trips for storm troopers?
The River Wye. The river proved an endless source of inspiration for famous British landscape artist JMW Turner, and who knows, the fifth longest river in the UK might have had the same effect on director JJ Abrams all these years later!
Find out more about the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley.