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News inspiration Star Wars: 12 incredible filming locations around the world

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Star Wars: 12 incredible filming locations around the world

Seeing as it's Star Wars Day (may the fourth be with you and all that jazz), we've searched our planet for the most spectacular destinations to feature in the films. Put your Star Wars knowledge to the test and be amazed by what these filming locations look like in real-life!

Rogue One filming locations

1. Laamu Atoll, the Maldives

Apart from the obvious (that they’re working on the most popular movie franchise ever) it’s hard not to be jealous of the cast and crew who worked on Stars Wars: Rogue One, because they spent several weeks working (sure it was tough) in the beautiful Maldives. Laamu Atoll stood in for planet of Scarif, with the majority of the scenes being shot on two islands: Gan, which is one of the Maldives’ largest islands, and the uninhabited Berasdhoo island. During filming, cast and crew stayed in the Maldives’ best hotels, undoubtedly enjoying the five star services that these resorts are famous for.

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The Maldives

2. Canary Wharf, London

Don’t be surprised if you don’t recognise this famous area of London when you head to the cinema to watch Rogue One. The only part of London’s financial hub used in the film was the underground station. In the scene in question, stormtroopers dash through the Norman Foster-designed tube station, in hot pursuit of Erso, the rebel character played by Felicity Jones.

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Canary Wharf

3. Krafla and Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Northern Iceland is a place of hissing hot springs, volcanic eruptions, and steaming calderas. Lake Mývatn, with its unusual rock formations, and Krafla, a volcanic caldera filled with bubbling mud pools, both feature in Rogue One. But this wasn’t the first time Krafla had been in front of the camera – it has also been used as a location in Game of Thrones. We’ve got the full 44 filming locations from GOT right here.

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Icelandic geyser

Filming locations from previous Star Wars films

4. Tikal, Guatemala

Which Star Wars film is it in? Episode IV: A New Hope

Tikal is another world heritage site which was used as a setting for Star Wars – this time in Episode IV: A New Hope. The country’s beautiful Mayan pyramids, which are surrounded by rainforest, doubled as the rebel base Yavin 4, although perhaps unsurprisingly, interior scenes were shot in a studio. Filming took place over five days, and possibly the most spectacular scene is the one where the Millennium Falcon zooms towards the camera and the tops of the pyramids poke through the tree line. Sadly it’s not yet possible to explore the galaxy on your very own Millennium Falcon, but we’ve lessened the blow with this guide to 10 places you won’t believe exist on earth.

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5. Seville, Spain

Which Star Wars film is it in? Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Not all Star Wars settings are natural landscapes. In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the Spanish city of Seville – and the city’s Plaza de España specifically – doubles as Theed on the planet of Naboo. This beautiful square was designed by Aníbal González in the 1920s. However, producers decided the city wasn’t quite big enough so used post-production special effects to add fountains and make both the plaza and the skyline appear larger.

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6. Grindelwald, Switzerland

Which Star Wars film is it in? Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Ever wondered where Princess Leia came from? Her ill-fated homeland, the planet of Alderaan, is a beautiful mountain-filled paradise, and in Revenge of the Sith it was represented by the Swiss region of Grindelwald, Switzerland. The spectacular setting, home of the Bernese Alps, also formed the backdrop for 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Find out which other locations were used in the Bond movies and follow in the famous spy’s footsteps.

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7. Rub’ al Khali desert, the Arabian peninsula

Which Star Wars film is it in? Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Traditionally, Star Wars desert scenes were always filmed in Tunisia, but when political turmoil affected the stability of the country, producers turned their attention to the Arabian peninsula and Rub’ al Khali desert, the largest contiguous sand desert in the world. The crew spent six months filming here, using the code word “Avco” to keep the location a secret from Star Wars fans. "The heat was so, so intense," actress Daisy Ridley told the LA Times. "Like sweaty and gritty, we were filthy in it."

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Saudi Arabia

8. Finse, Norway

Which Star Wars film is it in? Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

One of the most incredible Star Wars filming locations, this beautiful glacier stood in for the planet of Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Crew members stayed at the Finse 1222 Hotel, and if you ever stay here then make sure you browse the guestbook (it’s signed by the film’s producers) and check out photos depicting behind-the-scenes action. There’s a Rebel trooper hat in reception too, because, well why not?!

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9. Lake Como, Italy

Which Star Wars film is it in? Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Lake Como isn’t just the location of George Clooney’s holiday home – in Episode II Attack of the Clones, it’s also the setting for Anakin and Padme’s Planet Naboo wedding. Filming took place in the grounds of Villa del Balbianello, which was built in 1787 on the site of a monastery and which is currently owned by the National Trust of Italy.

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Lake Como

10. Death Valley, California, USA

Which Star Wars film is it in? Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

The Californian chunk of Death Valley has stood in for Tatooine in several Star Wars films. The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are where R2D2 and C3P0 go their separate ways after crash-landing on Tatooine in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and the Golden Canyon is the scene of R2D2’s kidnap by Jawas. Other scenes were shot in Desolation Canyon, Dante’s View and Artist’s Drive.

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Death Valley

11. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Which Star Wars film is it in? Episode VIII tbc…

Spoiler alert: large parts of Episode VIII, due for release in late 2017, were apprently filmed in the Stradun, which is Dubrovnik’s main street. It’s located in the old town, an area filled with crumbling city walls, baroque buildings and breathtaking views of the dazzling Adriatic sea. Many of the locals secured work as extras when the Star Wars production crew descended on the city in early 2016. Keen to try your luck as an extra? Here’s how to fill your time in Croatia when you’re not doing your best stormtrooper impersonation.

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12. Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England

Which Star Wars film is it in? Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

One of the UK’s last ancient forests, Puzzlewood appeared in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It’s a sprawling landscaped filled with eerie rock formations and unexplored caves and in the film, it’s where we meet villain Kylo Ren for the first time. Puzzlewood’s ancient trees have featured in several television series, including BBC drama Merlin, and it was apparently the inspiration for JRR Tolkein’s Middle Earth.

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