December 17, 2015
Star Wars’ out-of-this-world action seems to only be matched by the other-worldly visuals that have become just as iconic. Fortunately for you (and your hunk-o-junk spaceship), most of the picturesque scenes from Star Wars are located right here on terra firma.
Use this handy guide below to visit all your favorite planets from galaxies far far away.
1. Tatooine: Onk Jmel, Tunisia
There are plenty of Tatooine shooting locations (since it appears in Episodes I-VI), but the best is the desert of Onk Jmel in Tunisia that houses a still-standing set that tourists can visit.
It’s the site of the Mos Espa slave quarters where Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi discover Anakin. As a George Lucas bonus, the famous director also filmed some scenes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark nearby.
2. Hoth: Hardangerjøkulen, Norway
And you thought it smelled bad on the outside. For filming the ice planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas needed a frozen glacier and a whited out landscape. He eventually chose the Norwegian glacier Hardangerjøkulen — which is only the sixth largest in the country.
The surrounding county, Hordaland, contains Bergen, with roughly a thousand years of history and Norway’s second highest population. Sadly there are no AT-AT rides available. Yet.
3. Endor: Redwoods National Park, California
Hankering to relive some speeder bike chases from the dense forests of Endor? While you won’t find any Ewok celebrations, you can at least enjoy the foliage at Redwoods National Park where the tallest trees in the world grow.
This Return of the Jedi locale is in Del Norte County, which, is one of three counties on the northern boundary of California.
4. Mustafar: Mount Etna, Italy
Perhaps you’re seeking adventure, young Jedi? One of the best Star Wars locations to experience is Mount Etna, an active volcano on the Italian island of Sicily.
The scene of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s showdown from Revenge of the Sith features composite footage of the lava from this volcano flowing, and it’s the perfect place to tap into your dark side. Or, y’know, just take in some of Sicily’s unique architecture and cuisine… your call.
5. Naboo: Villa del Balbianello, Italy
Love them or hate them, the prequel trilogy featured some of the most beautiful and scenic settings of all the Star Wars movies — so far. Such is the case with the pristine Villa del Balbianello, located in the northern Italian region of Lombardy.
Overlooking idyllic Lake Como, Lucas chose this setting from Attack of the Clones for Padmé and Anakin’s wedding in Naboo — making it the perfect place for Star Wars fans to get hitched.
6. Yavin IV: Tikal, Guatemala
Isn’t it funny how much rebel bases look like Guatemala? Crawling with ancient Mayan temples and creeping plants, Lucas couldn’t pass up this location for filming A New Hope — or as newbs call it, Star Wars. Weak.
Having been around since the first century AD, there’s also plenty of non-Galactic rebellion related history to enjoy as well.