Here are the mythical locations where Star Wars was filmed on Planet Earth. And some might be closer to home than you think.
Palace Of Caserta, Caserta, Italy
Boasting over a thousand rooms, the Palace of Caserta is the largest royal residence in the world and was the largest palace and one of the largest buildings built in 18th century Europe. It was used for interior scenes as the Palace of Theed in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.”
The Mayan ruins in Tikal were used as the rebel base Yavin 4 in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” This view from Temple IV can be seen in the film as the Millenium Falcon arrives at the rebel base.
Villa Del Balbianello, Lake Como, Italy
Peter Barritt/Robert Harding/Getty Images
The Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como built in 1787 was used as the Lake Retreat on Naboo where Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker were secretly married in “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.” Seems like a dream wedding venue.
Amar Grover/AWL Images/Getty Images
Redwood Grove, Marin County, California
The majestic redwood forests of Northern California were used in scenes depicting the forest moon of Endor, home to the cutest Star Wars creatures to date: the Ewoks. The three locations chosen for filming are Redwood grove near the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County California, Muir Woods National Monument and the Smith River in Del Norte County California.
Ong Jemel, Tunisia
Lukasz Janyst/iStock/Getty Images
A mix of traditional architecture and sets built on location, Star Wars locations in Tunisia are a popular tourist destination. “The English Patient” was also filmed nearby.
Whippendell Woods, Watford, England
Whippendell Woods was used for brief scenes in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” most notably the opening scenes on Naboo when Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi meet Jar Jar Binks.
F. Verhelst, Papafrezzo Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images
Finse in Norway was chosen to represent the ice planet Hoth in “The Empire Strikes Back” because of it’s hostile winter environment. The mountain village and surrounding glaciers are only accessible by train. There are no public roads.
Death Valley, California, USA
Death Valley is one of the lowest and hottest places on Earth. These extremes make it a great place for filming scenes that are supposed to look like they’re not on Earth. While beautiful in its own right, Death Valley was used to shoot desert scenes in “A New Hope” when production went over budget in Tunisia. Tunisia and Death Valley were spliced together to create the fictional world of Tatooine.
The Karst mountain landscape of Guilin, China is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There is no other place like it, which made it a great backdrop for the planet Kashyyyk in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.”
Plaza De Espana, Seville, Spain
Tim E White/The Image Bank/Getty Images
The Plaza de Espana was built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair, hence it’s grandiose appearance. It was used for exterior shots of the city of Theed on planet Naboo.
Buttercup Valley, Arizona/California
Pete Turner/The Image Bank/Getty Images
The seemingly endless sand dunes of the Buttercup Valley were used as the filming site for the Great Pit of Carkoon sequence on the Dune Sea in “Return of the Jedi,” when Luke and Hans Solo almost die at the hands of Jabba the Hutt. The film crew stayed in nearby Yuma, Arizona.