A Tweeted picture from J.J Abrams featuring a Star Wars branded clapper board and a dash of sand told us everything we needed to know: with an exciting, young cast blended with a healthy selection of returning heroes, filming for the hugely anticipated Star Wars reboot, Episode VII, has begun.

Star Wars Episode VII

The recently announced cast is about the extent of our knowledge surrounding the film – no plot details have been announced and we haven’t been privy to a Hateful Eight-style leak – but a smattering of sand on the clapper board seems to confirm that filming has kicked off in Abu Dhabi, perhaps for Tatooine scenes. 

Ford, Fisher and Hamill will reprise the roles that made them stars when the first film was released in 1977 - Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker respectively. Anthony Daniels as C3PO, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Kenny Baker as R2-D2 are also returning.

More: 'Star Wars Episode 7' Titled "The Ancient Fear", First Images of Chewbacca

Of the newcomers to the franchise, Oscar Isaac is probably the most high profile and exciting addition alongside Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. The actor flourished in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and is receiving glowing reports for his turn in The Two Faces of January.  He revealed that his family were "very excited" by his latest role.

"The whole process is under way. We're shooting in the studios here in London. My uncle and my cousin have galleries of the Star Wars toys they've collected," he told The BBC. "So once I told them I had been cast, he nearly fainted, my uncle. He got sweaty and pale. He was very excited. The idea that I could be a toy for him is the craziest thing."

Star Wars Episode VII is set for release on December 15, 2015.