THE first day of filming a new Star Wars TV series has commenced at a quarry not so far away in Dorset.

Winspit Quarry, near Worth Matravers on the Purbeck coast, is currently closed until Friday, May 21 to allow filming to take place for the new Andor TV series for Disney+.

The 12-episode Star Wars series takes place before the events of Rogue One and focuses on the early formation of the Rebellion. It is likely to be released during 2022.

Diego Luna will reprise his role as Cassian Andor, with Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough and Kyle Soller also to appear in unconfirmed roles.

Andor is being filmed around the country and filming recently concluded in Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Day one of filming for Star Wars at Winspit Quarry in coastal Dorset. Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael TaylorDay one of filming for Star Wars at Winspit Quarry in coastal Dorset. Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

Visiting the Purbeck set on Tuesday, May 11, dozens of production crew are at work to prepare lighting and sound for shots at the quarry. Vehicles with trailers and vans were also seen transporting props and crew members to and from the set.

Filming appears to centre around a cave at the quarry, with lights and equipment pointing towards it. At least one shot was filmed, with a crew member clearly shouting that filming was due to start.

Spectators can only see above the quarry and a rock wall blocks the entry of the cave so had difficulty seeing what was being filmed.

A number of male and female actors wore black cloaks.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Day one of filming for Star Wars at Winspit Quarry in coastal Dorset. Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael TaylorDay one of filming for Star Wars at Winspit Quarry in coastal Dorset. Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

A creature effects crew member was spotted at the quarry, suggesting alien creatures could be featured either as a practical or CGI effect. At least two green screens were placed in the quarry and could be used to composite a character or object with the shot during editing.

The props seen by fans over the last few days have been moved and have likely moved to within the cave.

No prominent cast members, such as Diego Luna, Stellan Skarsgård or Fiona Shaw, were seen during the shooting.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Actors in black cloaks could be seen. Picture: Dorset EchoActors in black cloaks could be seen. Picture: Dorset Echo

Fans have been trying to figure out what is being filmed at the quarry.

User Clan_vizsla shared on Star Wars Leaks, a subreddit that discusses productions and rumours about upcoming TV shows and films, a theory that it could be an early rebel base.

Others suggested it reminds them of Jyn’s bunker in Rogue One.

Security crews surround the quarry on its public footpath informing people not to take photographs or video in a bid to protect the secrecy of the filming.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Dozens of crew members are at the sceneDozens of crew members are at the scene

The derelict Winspit Quarry has been used as a filming location over the years, including for classic Doctor Who and Blake 7 TV series. It was also featured as a scene location for the ‘Orkney Dig’ in the 2012 Disney film John Carter.

It is open throughout the year for tourists and residents to visit and boasts a scenic walk with stunning views of the Dorset countryside and coast.