‘Star Wars’ likely returning to Tatooine for ‘Episode VII’ shoot

Tatooine may be pretty far from the bright center of the universe, but the desert world will reportedly continue to be important to the “Star Wars” galaxy.

J.J. Abrams' upcoming “Episode VII” will head to the Middle East in May, where Abu Dhabi will stand in for Luke Skywalker's home planet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The United Arab Emirates city-state is reportedly replacing Tunisia, where the Tatooine scenes from the previous “Star Wars” films were shot. The report claims that the switch was made due to the ongoing political instability in the North African country. 

Universal's “Fast & Furious 7” is also currently shooting in Abu Dhabi, after resuming production earlier this month. 

Tatooine was a major setting in the original 1977 film, 1983's “Return of the Jedi” and 1999's “The Phantom Menace,” while both “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” also had pivotal scenes take place there. Through the years, it's been home to Jabba the Hutt, pod racing, Jawas, Tusken Raiders, and that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Mos Eisley spaceport.

With Mark Hamill reportedly reprising his role as Skywalker, it's likely he'll be involved in any potential scenes on Tatooine, although nothing has been confirmed.

In fact, despite countless rumors, little is known about the plot or cast of “Episode VII,” which will also shoot at England's legendary Pinewood Studio.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is scheduled to open December 18, 2015.