21 Star Wars Filming Locations You Can Visit IRL

You don't have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to see where your favorite 'Star Wars' scenes were filmed. Take a trip across our own planet to visit the real-world settings for Tatooine, Endor and more.

By: Elizabeth Fraser and Shannon Petrie

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Lars Homestead, Tatooine (aka Chott el Djerid, Tunisia)

The iconic exterior of Luke Skywalker’s home (aka the Lars Homestead) from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was filmed in the desert of Chott el Djerid, Tunisia. George Lucas returned to this location to film new scenes for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 28 years later.

Lars Homestead, Tatooine (aka Matmata, Tunisia)

Matmata in southern Tunisia is home to a distinctive style of underground dwellings called troglodytes. One of these structures, The Hotel Sidi Driss, was used as the interior for the home of Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine in Episode IV.

Various Locations on Tatooine (aka Death Valley National Park, Calif.)

To add some depth to Tatooine, George Lucas shot several different scenes in Death Valley National Park, including R2-D2’s run-in with the Jawas in Episode IV and exteriors of Jabba’s Palace in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The majority of locations can be found off of Route 190 through the California section of the park.

Yavin 4 (aka Tikal, Guatemala)

This ancient Mayan city can be seen in Episode IV (and again in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Yavin 4, a jungle-covered moon that served as the base of the Rebel Alliance. Tikal is home to thousands of ancient structures, including six large temples. In one scene, a Rebel watches the Millennium Falcon land from Temple IV, with Temples I, II and III visible in the background.

Hoth (aka Hardangerjokulen, Norway)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back used this spectacular glacier to portray the ice planet Hoth. The sixth-largest glacier in Norway, its highest point can sometimes only be accessed by skiers due to heavy snowfall.

Endor (aka Redwood National and State Parks, Calif.)

Used to portray the evergreen planet of Endor (home of the Ewoks) in Episode VI, the Redwood National and State Parks have become synonymous with epic speeder-bike chases for Star Wars fans everywhere. With more than 133,000 acres to explore, it's easy to get lost on your own interstellar-inspired journey.

Naboo Royal Palace (aka Royal Palace of Caserta, Caserta, Italy)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Royal Palace of Caserta served as the filming location for Queen Amidala’s royal palace on Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as well as Queen Jamillia's palace in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Built in the 18th century in the beautiful style of the Baroque, it has affectionately become known as the Versailles of Italy.

Gungan Forest (aka Whippendell Wood)

In Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi first meet Jar Jar Binks in the Gungan Forest, aka Whippendell Wood. Set on the edges of Watford, England, this ancient woodland is known for its bluebell flowers.

Theed, Naboo (aka Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain)

The Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain was used as the backdrop for Theed, the capital of Naboo (and home of Luke and Leia’s mother, Padmé Amidala). Featured prominently in both Episode I and Episode II, the plaza was built in 1928 and heavily influenced by the Renaissance Revival style of Spanish Architecture, bringing an ancient and elegant feel to Theed.

Unspecified Location in Naboo (aka Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, Italy)

The site of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker’s clandestine wedding in Episode II, Villa del Balbianello is located on Lake Como in the comune of Lenno, Italy. Lake Como has always been an admired retreat for the wealthy and elite, with ornate villas dating back to Roman times.

Mountains of Alderaan (aka Grindelwald, Switzerland)

While no physical filming with actors was done in the snowy alps of Grindelwald, Switzerland, footage of mountain scenery was later composited into the backdrop of the planet Alderaan, home-world of Princess Leia, in Episode III.

Mountains of Kashyyyk (aka Phang Nga Bay near Phuket, Thailand)

Aerial footage of the limestone karst mountains at Phang Nga Bay in Thailand were used in Episode III as a backdrop for the approach over the Battle of Kashyyyk, one of the last few battles fought in the Clone Wars before the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire.

Mustafar (Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy)

At the end of Episode III, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi engage in an epic lightsaber duel on the volcanic planet Mustafar. This scene was created through a variety of techniques: a set featuring a flowing lava river, CGI enhancements and footage of Italy’s Mount Etna. The volcano erupted while Episode III was being filmed, so George Lucas sent a film crew to capture the action.

Jakku (aka Rub' al Khali, Arabian Peninsula)

The largest contiguous sand desert in the world, Rub' al Khali stood in for the planet Jakku in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This is where we first meet scavenger Rey and adorable droid BB-8, and where runaway Stormtrooper Finn and Resistance pilot Poe Dameron crash land to escape the sinister First Order. Also known as the Empty Quarter, Rub' al Khali is best visited in a tour group due to the extreme temperatures and harsh terrain.

Takodana (aka Derwentwater, England)

When Han Solo lands the Millennium Falcon on the planet of Takodana (home to Maz Kanata’s castle) in Episode VII, Rey proclaims, "I didn’t know there was this much green in the whole galaxy." Takodana’s real-life counterpart is Derwentwater, located in England’s Lake District. This gorgeous location boasts a 3-mile-long lake and four lush islands: Lord’s Island, Derwent Island, St. Herbert’s Island and Rampsholme Island.

Takodana (aka Puzzlewood, England)

While the scene of the Millennium Falcon landing on Takodana was filmed in Derwentwater, a later scene where Rey first encounters Kylo Ren was filmed in Puzzlewood. Set in the Forest of Dean, this enchanting woodland area feels like something out of a fantasy with its moss-covered rocks, knotty trees and meandering paths. Puzzlewood also inspired the forests of Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Luke Skywalker’s Hideout (aka Skellig Michael, Ireland)

Luke Skywalker is absent for the majority of Episode VII, but Rey eventually locates him in the film’s final scene. This pivotal moment was shot at Skellig Michael, a rocky island that towers over the sea off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland. Home to a monastery at some point between the 6th and 8th centuries, the island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s open to visitors from mid-May to the end of September, weather permitting.

Lah'mu (aka Mýrdalssandur Beach, Iceland)

In Rogue One, the first spinoff in the Star Wars Anthology series, Iceland’s stunning Myrdalssandur Beach served as the filming location for the planet Lah’mu. This is where we first meet our young heroine Jyn Erso and her father Galen, before he is taken by the Empire. The beach, known for its black sands formed from lava, is about a two-hour drive from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. Be on the lookout for Arctic foxes and seabirds on your visit.

Jedha (aka Wadi Rum, Jordan)

Featured in Rogue One, the small desert moon Jedha is a sacred place for believers in The Force. Jyn visits Jedha, along with Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor, in an attempt to find and rescue her father. These scenes were filmed in Jordan’s Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon. The largest wadi, or dry valley, in Jordan, it’s a popular destination for rock climbing and safaris on camel or horseback. Several other films have taken advantage of the desert’s otherworldly quality, including The Martian starring Matt Damon.

Scarif (aka Laamu Atoll, Maldives)

Rogue One’s final battle scene on Scarif, a tropical planet occupied by the Empire, was partially filmed on the pristine islands of the Maldives. Set off the coast of India and Sri Lanka, this idyllic spot is a popular honeymoon destination for its white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Imperial Base (aka Canary Wharf Station, London, England)

When the trailer for Rogue One was released, some shrewd viewers recognized a familiar location: London’s Canary Wharf Station. Normally bustling with commuters, this spot was teeming with Stormtroopers and droids when it was temporarily transformed into Scarif’s Imperial Base. The scenes were filmed overnight while the station was closed and had to finish before it reopened at 4 a.m.

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