'May the force be with us': New Star Wars film to be filmed in the UK

Sequel to the original trilogy seized upon by George Osborne as a victory for UK creative industry tax breaks

With growth still sluggish and another big bank in peril, George Osborne is toasting the arrival of intergalactic help in the battle to end the UK's long-running saga of an economic slump.

The Chancellor yesterday tweeted: "May the force be with us..." to the news that the newest Star Wars film will be filmed in Britain.

Due to start production next year and be in cinemas in 2015, Star Wars: Episode VII will pick up where 1983's Return of the Jedi left off. It will be directed by Star Trek director JJ Abrams and scripted by Toy Story 3 writer Michael Amdt.

Lucasfilm representatives met with Mr Osborne earlier this year to work on a deal to make the film in this country.

Confirming the move, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said she was "delighted that Star Wars is coming back to Britain".

Ms Kennedy said: "We've devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I'm thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that."

Osborne said: "Today's announcement that the next Star Wars film will be shot and produced in the UK is great news for fans and our creative industries, and it is clear evidence that our incentives are attracting the largest studios back to the UK.

"I am personally committed to seeing more great films and television made in Britain."

All of the six previous Star Wars movies have included UK production. Parts of previous films were shot in studios steeped in British cinematic history, including Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing and Pinewood Studios.

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