When George Lucas came to Elstree Studios last week for the final shoot of the Star Wars saga, it marked the end of a vision that started in Borehamwood almost 29 years ago.

Director George Lucas started filming the original Star Wars on July 16, 1976, at Stage Eight at the studios.

Although it was a coincidence that the final shots were filmed on Stage Eight last Monday, it was no coincidence that Lucas returned to Borehamwood.

Rick McCallum, the producer of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the two previous prequels, told the Borehamwood & Elstree Times that the studios were the home of Star Wars.

"We could have shot anywhere in the world," he admitted, "but Elstree's our home, even when we're not shooting here, we have a production office there.

"We always come back, we were here in August and shot for two weeks. Usually we come back two or three times. We like it. We like being in Elstree, we like shooting there and we have a lot of friends here. George and I are the only Americans on the crew, all the heads of department are English."

Mr McCallum confirmed that the final scene was between actors Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman who play Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and his love interest Padme Amidala, but he would not say what the scene was about.

Some additional dialogue was also filmed for 'looping', the process of replacing dialogue in previous shots where background noise got in the way.

He said that there were no big celebrations as there had already been several wrap parties in different locations. "It was a quite sedate affair. There was only a small crew, but there was a tinge of sadness - the crew's been together for almost 15 years."

He added that one of the reasons they came back to Elstree was to support the studio and its future, and another was because of Julie Wicks, the studios' director of productions.

"Every stage is basically the same - an empty four walls," he explained, "what makes it different is the way you're treated and the way the staff take care of you. That place is fantastic. It's as good as any studio in the world."

Lucasfilm, the production company behind the Star Wars films issued a statement, which read: "A long, long time ago, in a studio not so far away, George Lucas wrapped STAR WARS: A New Hope on Stage 8 at Elstree Film Studios. That was in July 1976. In perfect synergy, 29 years later Lucasfilm wrapped STAR WARS; Revenge of the Sith, snapping the clapperboard on the last take of the Star Wars feature films.

"Mirroring Lucasfilm's successful history, Elstree Studios lays home to both indigenous and international film makers alike. Julie Wicks and her team, devotedly co-ordinate all logistical strands of a production from start through to completion.

"Combining this with Hertsmere Council's continued commitment in keeping Elstree Studios alive for the foreseeable future, Lucasfilm would like to extend their deepest thanks."

- There are currently two productions underway at Elstree Studios. Flyboys, a movie about young Americans joining the French air force during the Second World War; and a British television production called Class of 76.