With production on "Star Wars VII" in full swing, reports are starting to trickle in on the various natural backdrops director JJ Abrams and his scouting team have picked as doubles for alien worlds. The latest is none other than the gorgeous rocky scenery of Scotland - with the UK Sun reporting that filming is either underway or starting soon in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye. 

"Location bosses feel Scotland possesses stunning scenery perfect for movie backdrops," a source states. "They will look great on the big screen and the rock formations will replicate the perception of mountainous planets. It will be the first time Star Wars has ever been shot north of the border."

The Isle of Skye in particular seems like a prime candidate for the Star Wars universe. Regularly included on "Trips of a lifetime" lists, the island was recently voted 4th best island in the world by National Geographic magazine. A 1703 description by native Martin Martin of the island's geological wonders further enhances its visual potential. 

"There are marcasites black and white, resembling silver ore, near the village Sartle: there are likewise in the same place several stones, which in bigness, shape, &c., resemble nutmegs, and many rivulets here afford variegated stones of all colours," he wrote. "The Applesglen near Loch-Fallart has agate growing in it of different sizes and colours; some are green on the outside, some are of a pale sky colour, and they all strike fire as well as flint: I have one of them by me, which for shape and bigness is proper for a sword handle. Stones of a purple colour flow down the rivulets here after great rains."
The newspaper Scotland Now earlier pegged the Quiraing, a stunning landslip on Skye, as a rumored filming location. The site contains a landmark called "The Needle", a 120-foot high pinnacle formed by the ancient landslides. 

Photo: The Quiraing of Scotland | Credit: Masher2/Creative Commons

Officially, Episode VII is currently filming in Abu Dhabi and in London's Pinewood Studios. The film is slated for a December 2015 release.

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Scottish Highlands rumored to play backdrop for 'Star Wars VII'
The visually stunning Isle of Skye is also considered a top filming prospect for director JJ Abrams and Co.