kathleen kennedy star wars episode vii 'Star Wars: Episode VII' will meld real locations with special effects, says Kathleen Kennedy

Ever since Kathleen Kennedy took over Lucasfilm from George Lucas, she’s been the woman to talk to about the forthcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The Lucasfilm president held a special panel at “Star Wars” Celebration Europe over the weekend, and teased some intriguing details about “Episode VII’s” production.

“Much like many of you, looking at all the ‘Star Wars’ movies and getting a feeling in what the early films did in combination with real locations and special effects — that’s something we’re looking very seriously at. We’re going to find some really cool locations for ‘Ep VII.’ We’re going to use ever tool in the toolbox for this movie,” she says (via a StarWars.com liveblog), adding that they plan on “using artwork that you can touch and feel in combination with CG effects.”

As for choosing J.J. Abrams as the director of the movie, Kennedy says he was at the top of the shortlist she and Lucas put together. “He has a sense of aspiration in what he does. His films tend to be hopeful. They’re fun and exciting,” she says. “I think he’s going to do an amazing job.”

Kennedy says she splits her time between working at the Lucasfilm office and then developing “Star Wars: Episode VII” with Abrams and his writing team at Bad Robot. Lucas also has been sharing many of his ideas for where he’d like this movie to go.

“There’s been an amazing education process that has gone on with this,” Kennedy says. “This is a huge responsibility and we’re all taking that really seriously.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is expected to hit theaters in Summer 2015.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz