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Traveler's Edition
  •   5 min read

Star Wars fans may be dreaming of visiting other planets in galaxies far, far away, but here are ten destinations where many of the series’ famous scenes were shot… and luckily they’re all on Planet Earth, so easily accessible with a flight or two. From Tunisia to Iceland, California to London, let’s see where this journey takes us.

Hotel Sidi Driss – Matmata, Tunisia

This spot in Tunisia is probably the most famous film location from all of the Star Wars movies. This is where the scenes of Luke Skywalker’s childhood home on Planet Tatooine were filmed. The film crew didn’t need to build the homes, they were built by Berbers centuries ago. Eventually, the houses became a hotel that George Lucas used to shoot the first Star Wars film.

Today you can stay at the hotel, and eat at the same table where young master Luke ate.


Reynisfjara – Iceland

If Iceland has been on your travel bucket list for a while, here’s another excuse to finally book those flights to Reykjavik. The black sandy beach of Reynisfjara is a stock destination for sci-fi movies, and “Rogue One” is no exception. The beach faces the North Atlantic and the small nearby town of Vik stands in for the stormy planet of Eadu.


Redwood National and State Parks – California

Endor is the forested moon home of our favorite little furry creatures: the Ewoks, which was filmed in California’s redwood forests. While most of the famous scenes were actually filmed on private land, you can wander the forests of the national and state parks and still get a feel for the set. Unfortunately, since filming “Return of the Jedi” in 1982, heavy logging has drastically changed the landscape here.

Redwood Park

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier & Finse – Norway

If you’re not sure which hotel in Norway to stay at while visiting, try the Finse 1222 Hotel, where the cast and crew of “The Empire Strikes Back” stayed while filming in Finse, Norway. Exteriors of the ice world Hoth were shot in this tiny Norwegian village. The film’s main snowy battle scenes were shot on the nearby Hardangerjøkulen Glacier. You can reach Finse easily by train from Oslo.


Canary Wharf Station – London, UK

While you might not see any Stormtroopers at this often-busy London Underground station, you may recognize it as one of the Imperial bases in “Rogue One.” The station’s futuristic steel, glass and concrete is filled with Stormtroopers in the movie but in real-life, you’re more likely to see hoards of bankers heading to and from the city’s financial district.

Canary Wharf

Villa del Balbianello – Lenno, Italy

If Star Wars fans are looking for a romantic break, look no further than this lake retreat where Anakin and Padme go into hiding in “Attack of the Clones” on Italy’s Lake Como. It’s no surprise that this is a popular spot for weddings; it’s a stunner. Villa del Balbianello was built in 1787 and while the exterior of the villa was digitally changed for the film, you should still be able to spot the balcony where the pair kiss. The villa is open to visitors from March until November.

Lake Como

Phang Nga Bay – Thailand

This lush and tropical spot in Thailand was used as a stand-in for the planet Kashyyyk, where Chewbacca, everyone’s favorite Wookiee, was born. Not only is this place near Phuket a tropical paradise, but it’s a great spot to party too! You can meet backpackers from around the world here.


Plaza de Espana – Seville, Spain

You might recognize this famous plaza in southern Spain from “Attack of the Clones” and “The Phantom Menace,” as a stand-in for the plaza outside the palace when Anakin and Padme arrive in Theed. This half-circle shaped plaza was built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exposition and was dramatically digitally expanded for the films to include the green domes and towers of Naboo.

Plaza de Espana

Wadi Rum – Jordan

There’s certainly no shortage of desert locations in the Star Wars film location list! And Jordan is another that joins the ranks. The dramatic landscape of Wadi Rum in the country’s southern region stands in for the moon of Jedha in the latest flick, “Rogue One.” Jedha is a spiritual home for Jedi and a must-visit if you’ve also booked flights to Jordan to see the ancient site of Petra.


Buttercup Valley – Yuma Desert, California

You don’t need to travel abroad to get a taste of the Star Wars’ action. Just take a trip to California and scope out Buttercup Valley in the Yuma Desert where scenes of “Return of the Jedi” were filmed. It was the site for the Great Pit of Carkoon and it took the crew five months to build the set in incredible heat.

Yuma Desert

Images: Matmata by Eugenics Radlinskas, Reynisfjara by apasciuto, Rise and Shine by Kirt Edblom, Finse by Jorn Eriksson, Canary Wharf by Rukmal Kirtisinghe, Eccola finalmente by Franco Vannini, Isla Tapu by Diego Delso, Plaza de Espana by Alessandro Bonvini, Wadi Rum by Oliver Clarke, Dunes California by SupportPDX, Yoda by Kory Westerhold / Flickr cc.

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