The epic science fantasy saga Star Wars may take place in galaxy far, far away, but it’s filmed right here on boring ol’ Earth.
Star Wars is a movie series that may have reminded a generation of kids how to dream of the stars, but it’s a very practical series. Many of the exotic space locales were places that fans of the saga flock to visit each year. There’s something about seeing these places with your eyes that makes the magic of the movies all the more real. The home countries of these Star Wars filming locations know this, and there are many that offer tours to fans eager to touch a part of movie history. Below we’ll detail the four best ones for you to choose for a galactically awesome vacation.
The Best Star Wars Filming Locations to Visit
Below, you'll find our favorite Star Wars filming locations that you can visit. Once you arrive in these destinations, you'll be amazed at the beauty and nostalgia that this series evokes.
With the exception of the United Kingdom, where all of the studio work has been done, no country has more Star Wars filming locations than Tunisia. Home to most of the series scenes set on the fateful desert planet of Tattooine, fans can see a lot of locations here. They can tour the Great Dune Sea, a name inspired by the real Nefta location: La Grande Dune. You can see the outside of the famous cantina in Ajim on the Island of Djerba. This area is also home to the infamous Tosche Station, which was cut from the movie until the 1990s-era special editions.
Not all of the locations are as fans expect them. The most popular sites are the locations used for Luke Skywalker’s childhood home. The shot of Luke walking up to a berm and then looking down into a kind of subterranean courtyard is iconic. However, those two locations are somewhat far from each other. The first part of the shot was filmed in Chott el Djerid near Nefta, while the second part was shot in Matmata, some miles away.
2. Plaza de España, Seville
This 90-year-old masterwork of Regionalism Architecture appeared in the film Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. It’s used as the capital city on the planet of Naboo, but that’s not it’s only credit. This location was also used for scenes in the classic Lawrence of Arabia and the forgettable 2012 film The Dictator. While Tunisia may feature more locations where more memorable scenes in the movie took place, this place has the benefit of being in Seville. It’s a beautiful city for a visit, and the Plaza de España would be a stop on any tourist’s visit.
3. Skellig Michael, Ireland
This impressive island off the emerald shores of Ireland is an obvious choice for the location of the ancient Jedi temple where Luke Skywalker spent his time in the recent films. This island appears in the first extant record of Ireland, as the final resting place of the son of a character from Irish folklore. Some time before the 8th century an Augustinan monastic order founded a monastery on the island. It was often attacked by Vikings until the 11th century.
The site of the monastery is divided into six cells of huts and two oraties. There are also a number of crosses and slabs made of stone. A rock, called the Wailing Woman, overlooks a cliff and “Little Skellig,” a smaller island nearby. As shown in The Force Awakens, the only way to access the monastery is via 600 medieval-era stone steps. A World Heritage site since 1996, access is limited. Still there are tours available for the Jedi faithful to make their pilgrimage.
4. Atoll, Maldives
This location appeared in Rogue One as the tropical island Imperial facility on the planet of Scarif. The site of a climactic battle, it’s an atoll in the Maldives rich with cultural history beyond Star Wars. Home to a number of archaeological sites that detail the religious upheaval as the Buddhists gave way to Islam. There are a number of inhabited islands, though the uninhabited ones outnumber them. Comprised of 82 islands, there is plenty to do here even if you just want to see the island from the air as you land in Kadhdhoo Domestic Airport. The islands are mostly surrounded by barrier reefs, and the lagoon is very open. Even if you can’t find the locations from the film, you’ll definitely find a great beach on which to hold the person you love the most.
These amazing natural and cultural treasures remind us our own planet is as mysterious and stunning as George Lucas’s universe.
One never really needs an excuse to travel, so visiting the sites of iconic Star Wars scenes is as good as any. You might want to visit the Forests of Endor, which is actually the forest in Del Norte County, California, or Hoth, various locations in Iceland or Norway. Wherever you end up, it’s important to remember what it was about the movies that made them special. It wasn’t the great effects or exotic locales, but rather the stories at their center. These stories were shared with people, friends and strangers, and somehow bring us all together. The beeps and bloops of R2D2 or the animalistic roars of the wookie Chewbacca are a universal language. What a privilege it is for the people where these movies were filmed to share their home with us.
What do you think? Which location would you like to go to? Tell us your thoughts, experiences, or favorite Star Wars memories in the comments below. Remember to share the article on social media if you enjoyed it!