FEELING THE FORCE? VISIT THESE STAR WARS FILM LOCATIONS
The Star Wars franchise is one of the largest in the world with an army of devoted fans all captivated by the out-of-this-world universe. So what if we told you that you don’t have to take a trip to a galaxy far, far away to experience all things Star Wars? With nine Star Wars films in the saga, there are filming locations dotted all over our planet for you to visit – yes, really! If you’re feeling the force and planning to getaway to celebrate Star Wars Day on May the 4th, whether you’re jetting off an a romantic break for the R2-D2 of you, or even you’re going Hans Solo (sorry, we couldn’t resist) here’s some inspiration for where to go and live out your own Star Wars fantasy...
A city by the sea, trips to Dubrovnik offer travellers two types of holiday in one! The colourful and historic town is a favourite for summer holidays and it also happens to be the location used to film scenes in The Last Jedi as the casino city of Canto Bight. A place for the galaxy’s gamblers, the Croatian town has a fleeting but important role to play in the enduring battle between the First Order and the REBEL fighters. Whilst you’re holidaying in Dubrovnik, you’ll certainly recognise the picturesque main street in Old Town, as this is where the chase took place!
WILD ATLANTIC WAY, IRELAND
The Wild Atlantic Way coastal touring route of Ireland really is an otherworldly experience with some of the most spectacular scenery Ireland has to offer. Picture epic, rugged coastlines, alongside captivating countryside and it really is no wonder Ireland has been a favourite with Star Wars filmmakers more than once. In fact, from Malin Head in Donegal to County Clare and County Cork, Star Wars: The Last Jedi featured many of the west coast locations, all providing a truly breath-taking backdrop for battle scenes and beyond.
Azure lagoons, white sandy shores, palm-trees lined up, the idyllic paradise of the Maldives may not be the first place you associate with the Star Wars franchise, however, one of the most iconic scenes from Star Wars: Rogue One is that of the battle on Planet Scarif. As the Stormtroopers line up and wade through the turquoise waters in their futuristic armour, this really does make for one of the most visually impressive scenes of the series. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit this dreamy destination, maybe this is the sign you’ve been looking for? (We can’t promise you’ll spot any Stormtroopers though!)
Boasting a truly diverse and dramatic landscape, Iceland has provided the setting for many action-packed films and TV shows including Interstellar, Noah and Game of Thrones to name but a few. With vast mountains, chilling glaciers, black sand beaches and more, the contrasting scenery of Iceland really does help you to imagine you’re on another planet - making it the perfect location to invent Hoth the ice planet in The Force Awakens and also planet Eadu in Rogue One.
If you’re jetting off to Spain on your holidays this year, why not take a trip to the charming city of Seville. Averaging 300 days of sunshine per year, strolling around the impressive architecture just like Padme and Anakin did will be a truly entrancing experience. In the Star Wars series, filmmakers returned to Seville on more than one occasion, as the famous Plaza de Espana became the Palace of the Kingdom of Naboo. In both Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace, the 1920’s semi-circle building was dramatically transformed on screen to create a full circle and also show the towers and green domes of fictional Naboo.
One of the most popular filming locations for the Star Wars saga has been Tunisia. The North African country is filled with places the characters carried out their scenes in fictional Tatooine where Jedi Luke Skywalker originates. From Matmata to Mos Espa, the dry sandy deserts of Tunisia really do create a remote space-like atmosphere and the Tunisian city of Tataouine is actually the place that inspired the fictional planet’s name! Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes here is from A New Hope where C-3PO and R2-D2 wander the vast sands of Sidi Bouhel (or ‘Star Wars Canyon’ as it’s now often referred to by fans!)
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
Oh California. Known for the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach and more, the US state is also home to some seriously impressive natural beauty including the lowest and driest part of North America; the remarkable Death Valley National Park. Truly unique landscapes of dramatic extremes, scenes from A New Hope were filmed here between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mojave Desert. Die-hard fans may also recognise other tourist spots like Dante’s View, Mesquite Sand Dunes and Twenty Mule Team Canyon, all of which were showcased in the Star Wars movies.
PHANG NGA BAY, THAILAND
Northeast of Phuket is Phang Nga Bay, an area of exotic blue waters, lush green forests and impressive rock formations. If you happen to be holidaying in Thailand and are an avid Star Wars fan too, you’ll likely recognise this location as the habitat of Han Solo’s faithful friend Chewbacca and the Wookiees in Revenge of the Sith. In real life, the area itself is rich in marine life and home to over 100 species of bird, so keep an eye out for some totally tropical wildlife if you pay a visit!