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You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to feel like you’re part of the Star Wars universe. Many spectacular destinations have been used as shooting locations in the films and many of the deserts, forests and seascapes may look very familiar indeed. These locations are perfect for any die-hard Star Wars fan and will make for some excellent Instagram material.

Although much of the filming specifics behind Solo: A Star Wars Story are secreted away until its release, we do know that the Spanish island of Fuerteventura was used as a setting during production. The island is well known for its sandy desert areas, crystal clear waters and volcanic landscape.

 

Appears in:

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

Home of both Anakin and Luke Skywalker during a period of their lives, Tatooine and its two suns are synonymous with Star Wars. The desert planet has appeared in both the original and prequel trilogies and is the site of numerous important events during the films.

 

Tatooine is actually based on Tatouine, a very real city in Tunisia, where much of the filming took place. However, some parts were also filmed in the Death Valley National Park in California, more specifically the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Artist’s Palette.

 

Appears in:

  • Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode IV – A New Hope
  • Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Villa del Balbianello, Italy

While the prequel films are often criticised for their poor script, bad casting choices and Jar Jar Binks, there’s no denying that some of the filming spots were expertly picked. While the Palace of Caserta near Naples served as the Naboo Royal Palace, the elegant Villa del Balbianello on the edge of Lake Como is best known as the site of Anakin and Padme’s wedding scene in Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

 

CGI rendering added to the overall surrounding of the villa, but it’s still overwhelmingly beautiful. You can take a guided tour of the gardens and you can even hold your nuptials here too.

 

Appears in:

  • Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Rub’ Al Khali, Abu Dhabi

Appearing in The Force Awakens, Abu Dhabi’s Rub’ Al Khali was used as the remote desert planet of Jakku, home to heroine of the new trilogy Rey. The desert is an astonishing 620 miles long and the largest contiguous sand desert.

 

The desert is a prime destination for motor sports and every winter the Moreeb Hill Climb event is held here.

 

Appears in:

  • Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Phang Nga Bay, Phuket, Thailand

Serving as the backdrop to the Wookiee home world of Kashyyk, Phang Nga Bay is best known for its emerald waters and gravity-defying limestone rocks that jut majestically upwards.

 

Although certain shots are combined with Guilin in China and sound stage cinematics, fans of the location will recognise the distinctive landscape. You can visit the area via day-trip on a cruise, stop to enjoy the beaches or visit Ko Panyi, a village built on stilts, not unlike the Wookiee villages in the film.

 

Appears in:

  • Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Laamu Atoll, Gan Island, Maldives

For something completely different, both in terms of location and tone, Rogue One director Garth Edwards turned to the Laamu Atoll in the Maldives for filming. Used for the final battle, the islands of Gan and Berasdhoo were used to depict Planet Scarif, home to a sinister imperial base and construction facility for the war machine.

 

More fitting of the location’s beauty are the hotels you can find here, Six Senses Laamu and COMO Maalifushi among them. Both hotels are at the higher echelons of luxury, with overwater villas and water sports aplenty.

 

Appears in:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
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