What’s On has behind-the-scenes footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens from San Diego Comic-Con 2015. The footage features the Liwa Desert.

PICS: Star Wars set
-PICS: Comic Con Dubai 2015
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New behind-the-scenes footage from the recent San Diego Comic-Con offers even more insight into how the UAE features in the upcoming Star Wars film.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Comic Con 2015 Reel gives fans a detailed (and reassuring) look at the real sets, hand-painted costumes and practical effects that director JJ Abrams has employed in the upcoming movie.

As one interviewee commented: “JJ’s trying to make sure these movies have a physicality to them. We truly are out in the desert, a real desert.”

The desert in question is, of course, the UAE’s own Liwa Desert, which features in the very first shot of the footage. It was also showcased heavily in the initial teaser trailer that debuted in November 2014.

At first many assumed that the Liwa Desert would be standing in for the planet Tattooine of the original trilogy, but Abrams has confirmed that it is, in fact, a completely new planet called Jakku.

Needless to say, it’s a surreal sight for UAE residents to see the (usually) Empty Quarter populated by X-Wings, Imperial stormtroopers and the Millennium Falcon – not to mention Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher.

The reel also features Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca, who looks rather pleased to be returning to that fuzzy suit and “getting back to the old days. The old ways of doing things.”

We even see footage of Star Trek: Into Darkness actor Simon Pegg, getting close to the Force against the backdrop of the dunes. “It’s Star Wars. I burn for Star Wars,” he says, although it’s hard to tell whether he’s referring to his passion for the franchise or the UAE temperatures.

The footage comes just weeks after it was announced that Star Trek, Pegg’s own franchise would have the UAE as one of its filming locations.