Star Wars 7: JJ Abrams pens motivational note to cast as shooting begins in Abu Dhabi

'Amazing but true the world awaits this film - let's give 'em something great'

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The Independent Culture

JJ Abrams penned a motivational, handwritten note to the Star Wars cast and crew ahead of the start of filming last week.

The US director is launching the next episode in the sci-fi franchise, due for release in December 2015. Expectations are high, making the need for inspired actors particularly great. 

“Dearest cast and crew,” Abrams wrote. “What an honour it is to work beside all of you on Star Wars Ep. VIII. I can’t thank you enough, for all work past and future.

“Let’s take good care of not just ourselves, but of each other. Amazing, but true: the world awaits this film. Let’s give ‘em something great. XO JJ”

Original actors Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) are all on board to reprise their roles for the new movie.


Fresh arrivals are promised in the form of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow. Another new addition, Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac, has praised Abrams directorial approach as “refreshing”.

“It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again,” Abrams said following the cast announcement in April.

JJ Abrams' encourages his Star Wars cast and crew with a note

Disney has previously said that the sequel will be set three decades after Return of the Jedi, meaning it might focus on Han and Leia’s children.

Production began in Abu Dhabi on Friday, with Abrams sharing a photo of a clapper board dusted with sand on Twitter.