Earlier this month in a galaxy far far away, known as Abu Dhabi, J.J. Abrams began filming "Star Wars: Episode VII" ... and TMZ has obtained pics from the ultra-secretive set -- including one GIANT creature.
Jedi sources tell us the new alien was manned by 5 men inside its belly ... and was used in two scenes taking place in what looks like a Tatooine marketplace (Star Wars nerds get it)
According to reports, producers intend to use less CG in the new movies -- instead, relying heavily on practical effects like the original trilogy ... which is evident in these photos.
We don't wanna give too much away ... but if you're a Star Wars fan, you should probably be clicking through the gallery already.
May the force be with you.