May the 4th be we us travellers wherever we choose to go! With the international Star Wars day approaching us in light speed, we found the need to devote an article to some of the most influential movies ever, which also happen to be amongst our favourites. With the first episode of the series launched in 1977 and setting new highs for film production, George Lucas created a legend. From the futuristic editing and special effects to the detailed costumes and deep characters, Star Wars is indeed a series worth of being classified as a cultural treasure. What’s more however is that the different planets where everything takes place, as diverse as they might be, still are part of our planet. Most of them are open for visiting, whereas others would be avoided by most. Nonetheless, here we have some of the places where the movies were filmed and some places which could also be used and happen to be near well-known tourist destinations.
“Hmm! Adventure. Hmmpf! Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things.” As master Yoda said to young and naïve Luke Skywalker. However, a traveller evolves and thrives through adventure most times. As such, the following destinations used for the shoots are beautiful but most of them are reserved for the ones who possess enough of an adventurous spirit and motivation to visit.
Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain
Ok, well, Plaza de Espana is not exactly what you’d call dangerous if you don’t count in the occasional pickpocket. Taking the place of the city of Theed on the planet Naboo, Plaza de Espana is in reality a place you ought to visit on your next holidays in Spain, especially if you happen to be around Seville. Built for the world fair of 1929, Plaza de Espana is full of squares, small bridges and canals, thereby making this a wonderful place brimming with character which is not that hard to visit.
Villa Del Balbianello, Lake Como, Italy
We’re already feeling romantic as a key turning point in the events of the series is (spoiler alert) the marriage of Anakin and Padme. This fateful union is crowned by the choice of place, as lake Como is amongst the most beautiful places in Italy if not on earth. The calm waters of the lake surrounded by the mountains, the lush greenery and spectacular architecture of the villa, make it a sensation to enjoy if you happen to be on holidays in Milan or nearby Switzerland.
Phang Nga Bay, Phuket, Thailand
Thailand has long been considered as an exotic destination full of immense natural beauty. What’s even better though, besides the fact that it’s been used as a scenery for Star Wars III representing planet Kashyyk, is that it’s way too affordable. Holidays in Thailand are all about exploring and having fun without having to take a loan for doing so. Moreover, the rich culture, nature and history, make it a destination which you will never get tired of.
Palace of Casserta
A UNESCO world heritage monument which also happens to be the largest royal residence in the world, the Palace of Casserta, is a spectacular place to visit. Situated in the province of Campania in southwestern Italy, this dramatic palace and gardens take up around 2 million square metres of space and certainly are a fitting place to shoot the scenes for Queen Amidala and Queen Jamillia’s palaces in two separate occasions. In case you plan to make a visit to nearby Naples make sure you take the time to go by, as the gardens, interior decoration and rich history will take your breath away.
Tunisia has been used in different instances throughout most of the Star Wars films so we decided to put it in a category of its own. From the Ksar Hadada, Ksar Ouled and Onk Jemal filmed as the commercial centre and slave quarters on Tattooine to the iconic Ajim village on the Tunisian island of Djerba where the iconic cantina was set, Tunisia has a mystique and barren charm which is hard to ignore. Holidays to Tunisia have taken a severe hit due to recent terrorist attacks, nonetheless, if you feel brave enough to go, rest assured that the place is worth taking the risk to explore.
“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1” as C-3PO might have exclaimed but the possibility of navigating to one of our proposed locations for your next vacations safely, is way higher. Be it the fact that those places are beautiful, fun and offer anything you could ask from your holidays, you could easily imagine them to be on another planet if you forget about the occasional flocks of tourists and street vendors.
Timanfaya national Park, Lanzarote
Pay a visit to the Timanfaya natural park on your next holidays to Lanzarote, look around, close your eyes and imagine thousands of Stormtroopers and rebels fighting by the volcanoes, lasers and lightsabers in hand. It wouldn’t seem out of place at all. The arid volcanic island of Lanzarote certainly is a great destination to go on holidays for a multitude of reasons but it could also be used to depict a barren, faraway planet without intervening too much on its surroundings.
Ik kil Cenote, Cancun
Holidays to Cancun usually are all about enjoying life, swimming and exploring the Mayan civilization. One thing however which could set it apart as a perfect candidate for a Star Wars movie could be its stunning Cenotes. There are thousands of cenotes around Yucatan Peninsula where Cancun is situated, some more picturesque than others but all are jaw-droppingly otherworldly. Imagine a rebel hideout in an underground cave covered by a cenote or a scene similar to the final fight in episode VI and you will certainly get the picture too.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
Certainly not the easiest to visit but amongst the most amazing places on earth, the Salar de Uyuni could easily be a faraway planet filled with heavenly creatures magnetising the few visitors who happen to come across their estranged planet. Situated high up on the Andes, this prehistoric and now dry lake, is the world’s largest salt flat, spanning over a 11.000 square metre area. The bright white salt, low water level and endless sky, make it a place out of fiction which could easily take a place in the next Star Wars movie.