Maldives mulls film studio island amidst Star Wars success

The first promotional poster of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" featuring the Maldives, which was the shooting location for the fictional tropical planet "Scariff" in the Star Wars galaxy.

The first promotional poster of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” featuring the Maldives, which was the shooting location for the fictional tropical planet “Scariff” in the Star Wars galaxy.

The Maldives government is contemplating the development of a film studio island in the wake of the Maldives’ global promotion via several scenes shot in the archipelago for the Star Wars’ spin-off film currently in theatres.

Speaking after the arrival of national airline Maldivian’s newest aircraft at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer declared that the Maldives’ popularity is expected to skyrocket in the European market with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, which features several scenes shot in the archipelago. He announced that Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has already embarked on promoting the nation via the film, which is a spin-off addition to the highly successful Star Wars franchise.

“We’re [promoting] through some bloggers as well. MMPRC is looking to promote the locations shot in the film as well as the entire Maldives in general,” he said.

Minister Zameer also disclosed that the government is envisioning a film studio island to facilitate easier shooting in the archipelago.

Noting that discussions are underway with producers from Bollywood to shoot in the Maldives, he said, “We highly encourage to shoot such films in the Maldives. We’re working to provide the easiest way possible [for shooting].”

Rogue One’s cast and crew, totalling over 100 individuals, had spent around a month in Laamu atoll towards the end of last year to shoot scenes that take place in the tropical planet “Scariff” in the Star Wars’ galaxy. The crew had collaborated with local company Blue n White to bring in helicopters and large equipment to Laamu atoll. Comprising mainly of action scenes, around twenty minutes of footage were shot in the Maldives for the film.

Rogue One is the ninth addition to the Star Wars franchise and the first stand-alone film in the Star Wars Anthology series. It is notable that the most of the film’s promotional posters feature the beaches and ocean of the Maldives as the planet “Scariff”.

One of the most anticipated films of the year, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” premiered last Wednesday and hit the local cinema on Friday, and is already receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike.

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