Lights, cameras, action… Star Wars chooses Valencia to shoot Obi-Wan Kenobi series

Lights, cameras, action… Star Wars chooses Valencia to shoot Obi-Wan Kenobi series, the latest outing for the huge franchise, fourth highest-grossing ever. By Eugene Costello

Lights, cameras, action… Star Wars chooses Valencia to shoot Obi-Wan Kenobi series, the latest outing for the huge franchise, fourth highest-grossing ever. to date, it comes in at #65 billion, narrowly beaten only by Mickey Mouse and Pokemón, with Winnie the Pooh some $8 billion ahead after one year shy of its centenary.

After days of speculation over a casting call for 700 extras, the Disney production has confirmed to local media that filming will take place in Valencia, says Valencia Secreta.

The science fiction saga Star Wars is coming to the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. After days of speculation, with the announcement of a casting call seeking 700 extras for a North American series, it has been confirmed that the major production to take place in this iconic location in the capital of the Turia from next March is linked to the Star Wars universe.

Everything suggests that Valencia will be the setting for the new season of the series Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, according to Levante-EMV.

The blockbuster is being produced by Lucas Films and Disney+ and will feature world-renowned stars such as Hayden Christensen, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse and Rupert Friend.

This is not the first time that the City of Arts and Sciences and Valencia have been the setting for the filming of an international blockbuster. This space has also been part of other productions such as the HBO Max series Westworld and the film Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, as well as the BBC’s Dr Who.

Who’s that, then? Peter Capaldi at the City of Arts and Sciences filming ‘Dr Who’

Santiago Calatrava’s iconic futuristic cityscape the City of Arts and Sciences will play the perfect backdrop to this sci-fi odyssey.

The Oceanic Hotel in Valencia hosted the aforementioned mass casting for this series over the past few days.

About the series Obi-Wan Kenobi

The series Obi-Wan Kenobi takes us ten years after the victory of the Sith over the Jedi in the Clone Wars. At this time, the galaxy has been plunged into darkness under the new regime of the evil Galactic Empire of the Sith, ruled by Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, and his second-in-command, Darth Vader.

Meanwhile, exiled Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi lives on the desert planet Tatooine, influenced by both the Empire and the Hutt crime syndicates.

The anticipation was already high.

Queuing around the block

Last week, thousands of people registered for the auditions to take part in the series, which will be filmed in the city between March and April, forcing the production managers to choose only a few profiles to access the selection process due to the influx of people.

Obi-Wan Kenobi auditions Valencia
Queue must be joking: Hopefuls waiting for ‘auditions’ for the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series ©Iván Arlandis

On Friday, by ten o’clock in the morning when screentests were due to start, the queue was already around the hotel where the search for more than 700 extras was to take place, said Las Provincias. The macrocasting held last Wednesday in Valencia for an American super-production, now confirmed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, exceeded all the organisers’ expectations. There was talk in the queue for the auditions, where people were arriving ten at a time, that more than 20,000 people had registered on the website to have a chance.

But the people in charge of the casting, seeing the influx of people that was gathering throughout Wednesday morning, decided to warn those who had already signed up that if they had already signed up, they could go home. They only selected a few profiles (tall people, with ethnic features…) to remain in the queue for the casting.

Hundreds of people, some of them very early risers, were already in the queue before the casting had even started. The line advanced slowly and after midday, the person in charge of the auditions announced that only some of them would be lucky. The majority, already registered, were stored in a database for possible projects – including this one that will be filmed in the capital of the Turia for three weeks between March and April.

Those in charge have been overwhelmed in their search for up to 700 extras for a big shoot in Valencia.

Doctor Who has already been filmed in Valencia and is due to premiere at the end of 2023.

A rush job?

“We will be casting for extras who want to work on this international project. At the casting we will explain the working and financial conditions and the shooting process,” they said. And they said that after that in the auditions we will take the relevant photos to show them to the management team “to choose the right profiles”.

Last week, before it was leaked that it would be Obi-Wan Kenobi, organisers would only reveal that it is “a science fiction series and recreates futuristic times” – so “we will need a wide variety of profiles of different ethnicities, ages, looks, sizes…”

They went on, “We want to find young people with modern hairstyles, athletic people to play soldiers, African Americans, Latin Americans or Orientals and to have a diversity of ethnicities, as well as other profiles people with a rural look, middle-aged and elderly people…

“In other words, a very varied range of profiles between 18 and 90 or more years of age,”” said the production team before stating that they will not allow children under 16 “due to the complex documentation required for their participation and so as not to slow down the fluid rhythm of the castings”.

In other words, this is looking like a rush-job. Hardly surprising with a requirement for 700 extras and a shooting schedule starting in just a month.

It is true of auditions as with many supposedly “glamorous” media jobs, Many are called. Few are chosen…

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