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Feast your eyes on these backstage images as filming of a new Star Wars TV series begins in Argyll

The Star Wars franchise is one of the most successful in the world
The Star Wars franchise is one of the most successful in the world

It is possibly one of the worst-kept secrets in the Oban area.

Filming of the new Star Wars series Andor has started at Cruachan and The Press and Journal has obtained exclusive backstage images of props, costumes and the film set.

While the stunning mountain is the perfect site for a dam and reservoir to serve the massive power station – its dramatic landscape is also well suited as a backdrop for Disney’s latest Star Wars adventure.

“Interesting structures” have appeared in the valley.

Film crew trucks, lorries and caravans have been spotted seven miles from the dam, tucked away near the mart in Dalmally.

One member of crew contracted from the local area said: “The set is so vast. It is in a valley beneath the dam high up the mountain.

“There are structures dotted all about that area. It can’t be seen from the road.

‘It’s total Hollywood’

“They are using ATVs to transfer people from one part of the set to another. It’s massive.

“There are hospitality trucks, catering trucks and up to 250 people on site every day. It’s total Hollywood, the scale of it is so big.

“They have built gunning placements and interesting-looking structures. Black moss has been sprayed on the structures and on the dam itself. The level of detail is really impressive.

“They are using inside the dam as well. They are using the tunnels in the dam and some fixtures are being covered up to make them look more authentic.

“They must be saving money on special effects and CGI, because when the mist rolls in on that valley, it just looks like something out of Star Wars.”

An access tunnel to the underground pumped storage powerstation being excavated inside Ben Cruachan.

Kenny Grey, who runs Island Images at Kilchurn Castle situated between Cruachan and Dalmally said: “I know that security is chasing anyone who goes near the set.

“Quite a few hillwalkers have been turned away. And a drone flier was chased.”

Tight-lipped

Lucasfilm, which is currently on location at Cruachan, was contacted but was unable to give “any information regarding the shoot at this time”.

Drax, the power station generation company which owns Cruachan, was also remaining tight-lipped and failed to respond to requests for information.

The Cruachan hydroelectric facility.

However, a note on the Visit Cruachan website states: “Public tours of and visits to Cruachan Power Station and Visitor Centre are currently suspended.

“The suspension is to reduce the risk to business-critical areas of our operation.

“We are planning to re-open the Visitor Centre and resume tours in 2021, but we cannot guarantee this at the present time.”

Major TV or film productions have been no stranger to the Highlands recently.

Just last week, the Indiana Jones movie crew were spotted filming a high-speed motorbike chase through Glencoe.

Extras

Last month extras were being measured up for costumes at Oban’s Corran Halls.

Filming of Andor has also been taking place in Glen Tilt in Highland Perthshire.

The glen – already known to fighter pilots as Star Wars Alley – is around nine miles up a forestry track from the village of Blair Atholl.

Andor will debut on Disney Plus in 2022.

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