The real-world Star Wars filming locations
Have you ever wondered about the Star Wars filming locations? What inspires the other-worldly backdrops that are featured in all of the films? Where was Force Awakens filmed? Wonder no more! This post outlines 17 real-world locations where Star Wars was filmed (and more than a few would make for good hiking trips).
#1 – Skellig Michael, County Kerry
Skellig Michael, located off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland, was used for the final scene of The Force Awakens. This World UNESCO Heritage Site is preserved and protected by only a limited amount of people allowed to visit per day and is therefore a popular stop off destination on the Kerry Way. Ballyferriter and the headland of Ceann Sibeal on the nearby Dingle Peninsula were used to recreate the monastic settlement of Skeillig Michael to continue the story of Luke and Rey on Ach-To during the filming of Episode VIII, The Last Jedi and this is also a stopover on the popular Dingle Way.
#2 – Malin Head, County Donegal
When it comes to breath-taking backdrops, Ireland has an abundance of locations suitable for filming – especially for Star Wars. The most northerly point in Ireland, Malin Head in County Donegal, was used as a parking spot for the Millenium Falcon.
#3 – Derwentwater, Lake District
There’s no shortage of scenic and dramatic landscapes in the Lake District, so where better to film than one of the lakes there – Derwentwater? With some (obviously) Hollywood-grade editing, X-Wings can be seen skimming the lake. Additionally, this hilly terrain provides some excellent opportunities for hiking, particularly as a start or end point of Alfred Wainwright’s famous Coast to Coast route.
#4 – Krafla Volcano, Iceland
Another backdrop The Force Awakens, Krafla volcano is collapsed yet active. It has also made an appearance in other Hollywood movies, such as Prometheus.
#5 – Abu Dhabi
For any dry, arid, desert scenes, Abu Dhabi is a natural contender. The Hajar Mountains combine as both a great filming location and hiking destination – that is if you’re ready for a bit of gruelling heat.
#6 – Yuma Desert, Arizona
Another option is the Yuma Desert because of its sparse and uninhabitable landscape. As a result, it was used as a Star Wars filming location for Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
#7 – Caserta Palace
The Caserta Palace in Southern Italy was used as the Royal Palace on Naboo. In spite of this, the once a majestic and enormous building has apparently become a victim of neglect. This UNESCO World Heritage site is now a shadow of its former self.
#8 – Guilin, China
The picture says it all for this location. Because who doesn’t like dramatic mountains back-lit by a vivid sunset?
#9 – Death Valley, California
A panoramic shot of Death Valley can be seen in Episode IV: A New Hope. Death Valley’s National Park serves as an excellent yet hostile hiking environment therefore making it perfect as a filming location.
#10 – Forest of Dean
The Forest of Dean in England is where Jar Jar Binks made his first appearance. Away from Star Wars, the forest was also used in one of the latest Harry Potter films.
#11 – Greenham Common
An abandoned RAF airbase, Greenham Common was used as an airbase for a very different aircraft to what it was used to.
#12 – Hardangerjøkulen Glacier, Norway
There are no roads connecting this glacier with civilisation so the only way to reach it is by train. As a result, if makes for a remote and beautiful hiking destination. It’s also no wonder that it was chosen as one of the Star Wars filming locations.
#13 – Palacio Español, Seville
Spain has no shortage of fantastic cities and inspiring countryside. The Palacio Español appeared in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back as a unique and royal-looking palace. Seville is also a popular destination on the Camino de Santiago.
#14 – Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Phang Nga Bay is a famous filming location as a result of its unique sea stacks. As well as Star Wars, it has also featured in James Bond making it a very popular holiday destination
#15, #16 and #17 – Tunisia
Grouping Tunisia together, there were several Star Wars Filming Locations here. The Island of Djerba, Matmata and the famous Salt Flats were all used in various Episodes of the Star Wars films.
Why not check out our Star Wars infographic in its entirety here?