Entertainment & Arts

Princes William and Harry visit Star Wars set

Princes William and Harry have battled each other with lightsabers during a visit to Pinewood Studios.

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Media captionPrinces William and Harry visit Pinewood studios and meet the cast of Star Wars

The royals were shown around the set of the new Star Wars film on Tuesday afternoon.

During their visit they met actors Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill and John Boyega, who are currently filming Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Kensington Palace said the visit was planned to celebrate Star Wars' "fantastic British creative talent".

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Image caption The princes were shown around Pinewood Studios by the cast of and creative team behind Star Wars Episode VIII

British talent featured both in front of and behind the cameras in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which saw Ridley and John Boyega play the central characters Rey and Finn.

British locations also featured in the film, with director JJ Abrams shooting exterior scenes on Greenham Common, in the Lake District and Scotland.

All seven Star Wars films have included shoots at British studios, with Ealing, Elstree, Leavesden and Shepperton Studios variously being used for Episodes I to VI.

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Image caption Prince Harry sat in an A-wing fighter as he talked with US actor Mark Hamill

The next Star Wars release, stand-alone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, also used Pinewood Studios and other locations around the country.

Following the release of that film's trailer, it was revealed one scene was filmed on the Jubilee Line platform of the Canary Wharf London Underground station.

Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released in December 2017.

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Image caption Prince William met Wookiee warrior Chewbacca during the visit

The Duke of Cambridge joked he could not stop stroking Chewbacca's head during the visit.

R2-D2 was on display during the visit as was the BB-8 droid from The Force Awakens.

The seventh instalment of the franchise also saw the return of original cast members Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher and was the highest grossing film of all time in the UK.

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