A Highland Perthshire community is abuzz with Star Wars rumours as film workers build a major set in a remote beauty spot.
The film-makers have sworn local residents to secrecy over the project’s identity, but several local sources said filming is linked to Disney’s new Star Wars films and TV programmes.
Film production teams began arriving earlier this month to shoot a large project in the heart of Glen Tilt – already known to fighter pilots as Star Wars Alley – around 15 km up a rough forestry track from the village of Blair Atholl.
Workers have set up a large base halfway up the glen, filled with film equipment, trailers, a canteen for a large crew and Covid-19 testing facilities.
Disney are currently making a number of pieces of new content based on George Lucas’s famous science fiction universe.
Star Wars in the Highlands
Fans recently spotted sets linked to upcoming TV series Andor near the Cruachan Dam in Argyll and Bute.
Staff on the Highland Perthshire set remained tight-lipped when asked what they were working on.
One joked the crew were shooting an adult film.
Another said: “We’re not able to tell you. We’re not allowed.”
I asked another on the Perthshire set directly if the project was Star Wars related. “You’re not far off,” he admitted.
The crew have put up public notice signs alerting locals to “increased activity” in one section of the glen between May 10 and June 18.
A large number of vehicles have been shuttling between the “EE Unit Base” in Blair Atholl and the set.
The sign read: “Please be aware of increased activity in Glen Tilt. The main area of activity is beyond Forest Lodge.
“Please also be aware of increased traffic on estate tracks during this time. We kindly ask you pass through when advised it is safe to do so.”
Glen Tilt links Blair Atholl in Perthshire with Speyside and the more northerly parts of the Cairngorms National Park.
It is a well-known hike with the scenic Falls of Tarf at the heart of the glen, around 20km from the nearest road.
One gillie drove past the film site with dead deer in his vehicle. He said he had been asked not to share any details about the film project.
“They’ve asked us not to say anything. We’re not supposed to talk to anyone about what is going on. So I can’t talk to you, sorry.”
The Angus, Perthshire, Dundee and Fife regions have been the backdrop to a number of TV and film hits, including Traces with Martin Compston and Under the Skin with Holywood A-lister Scarlett Johansson.
Star Wars Perthshire links have previously been through star Ewan McGregor, from Crieff, who will shortly reprise his role as Jedi knight Obi Wan Kenobi.
One Blair Atholl man said the village had been busy since crews began arriving days earlier.
He visited the Glen Tilt shoot site the previous day: “I’ve heard it’s the next series of the Mandalorian [successful Star Wars spin off TV programme], but no-one knows for sure.
“Everyone has been talking about it.
“It’s definitely a strange thing to see the film set away up in the middle of the glen.
“It’s a bit surreal.”
The Disney UK PR team did not respond to a request for comment.