The impending Mayan apocalypse has provided us with an intriguing possibility for the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. When George Lucas shot Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, he used the Guatemalan city of Tikal for the Rebel base on Yavin 4, the site where Luke Skywalker and Han Solo launched their attack on the Death Star. That city has become a longtime tourist destination for Star Wars fans, and is at the heart of the impending apocalypse that will supposedly happen when the Mayan calendar ends on December 21. A new story about the city has revealed that Disney plans on returning to Yavin 4 in Star Wars: Episode VII, although they will not shoot in Tikal.
"Yavin 4 and the rebel base return to the Star Wars plot in the forthcoming Episode VII, announced in October by the Walt Disney Co, in which Skywalker comes back to the planet to build a Jedi Knight academy. However, fans said that Disney will likely film those scenes in a studio rather than return to Tikal."
Nothing has been confirmed by Disney at this time, especially since screenwriter Michael Arndt is still working on the script. However, he did turn in a 50-page treatment before starting work on the screenplay, so this plot detail may have come from there. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher have expressed interest in returning as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, although it isn't known if their deals are finalized, or if negotiations have begun.
George Lucas chose the city of Tikal after seeing a poster of the Temple Four structure at a travel agency. He sent a crew to shoot in the city in March 1977, in the midst of Guatemala's 36-year-old civil war.