A Galaxy Here on Earth: Star Wars Filming Locations [Infographic]

by |August 22, 2016

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How do you create a place that doesn’t exist? That was the challenge by George Lucas, JJ Abrams, and company in filming the Star Wars saga. Several filming locations were filmed and set pieces were built to create the atmosphere of planets in a far away galaxy. The deserts of Tatooine can be found in both Tunisia and the US, the ice planet of Hoth was actually a glacier in Norway, and even the resistance air base on D’Qar is a real air force base found in the UK. Star Wars filming locations can found all over the map, and most can even be visited.

While plenty of filming took place in the studio, the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and Episode VII all benefited from location shots. The original trilogy didn’t have the technological advancements or budget available like the newer films, so the choice was more out of necessity. However, by Return of the Jedi, it became more difficult to film without fans flocking to see the action. The prequels (for better or worse) used green screen technology, but the filmmakers were able to shoot real scenery to use in the backdrops. They still shot some scenes on location, but by shooting in studio, they were able to avoid the crowds of onlookers, not disturb some of the historic locations used, and take advantage of the current technology at the time. For The Force Awakens, most location filming either took place in secret or under maximum security to avoid crazed fans. Seriously, there were people flying drones over the set trying to get pictures! It’ll be interesting to see how they handle filming for future Star Wars films. For now, take a planet-by-planet look through all the filming locations used for Star Wars Episodes I-VII in our latest infographic.

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Star Wars Filming Locations Infographic

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Star Wars Filming Locations Transcript

The many locations in the Star Wars saga may be imagined to be in a galaxy far, far away, but the reality of the matter is that all those planets are based on or were actually shot in real locations here on Earth. While some planets were created entirely in a studio, many landscapes and set pieces were filmed on location. From core worlds like Coruscant all the was to Luke Skywalker's secret hiding place on Ahch-To, travel the globe as we take a look at all the filming locations from the Star Wars films. 

Naboo

City of Theed 

Episode II

  • Plaza de Espana Seville, Spain

Theed Royal Palace, Naboo

Episode I&II

  • Palace of Caserta, Caserta, Italy

Anakin & Padme's Wedding

Episode II

  • Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, Italy

Gungan Sacred Place

Episode I

  • Whippendell Woods, Watford, England

Darth Maul Duel & Additional Scenes

Episode I

  • Filmed in Studios

Tatooine

Tatooine Desert

Episode IV & VI

  • Death Valley National Park, California*

*Spliced with Tunisia scenes

Great Pit of Carkoon

Episode VI

  • Yuma Desert, Buttercup Valley, Imperial Sand Dunes, Southern California, USA

Mos Eisley Cantina

Episode IV

  • Ajim Ferry Port, Djerba, Tunisia*

*Additional scenes produced in studio

Lars Homestead

Episodes II, III, & IV

  • Hotel Sidi Driss Mamata, Tunisia (interior)
  • Chott el Jerid, Tunisia (exterior)

Tatooine Desert & Mas Espa Slave Quarters

Episodes I, II, &IV

  • Ksar Hadada, Tunisia
  • Ksar Medenine, Tunisia
  • Ksar Queld Soltane, Tunisia
  • Oung Jmel, Tunisia

Canyon on Tatooine

Episode IV

  • Sidi Bouhlel near Tozeur, Tunisia

Coruscant

Episodes I, II, & III

  • Filmed in studio

Kashyyyk

Kashyyyk Backdrops

Episode III

  • Guilin, China

Battle of Kashyyyk

Episode III

  • Phang Nga Bay, Near Phuket, Thailand

Additional Scenes

Episode III

  • Filmed in studio

Mustafar

Mustafar Backdrops

Episode III

  • Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

Lightsaber Duel

Episode III

  • Filmed in studio

Alderaan

Alderaan Mountains

Episode III

  • Bernese Alps, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Death Star I

Death Star Interior Scenes

Episode IV

  • Filmed in studio

Death Star Exterior Scenes

Episode IV

  • Filmed in studio

Yavin 4

Rebel Base Exterior Scenes

Episodes IV

  • Temple IV, Tikal, Guatemala

Rebel Base Temple Interior

Episode IV

  • Filmed in studio

Hoth

Exterior Scenes & Battle of Hoth 

Episode V

  • Hardangerjokulen Glacier, Hordaland, Norway

Battle of Hoth

Episode V

  • Filmed in studio

Dagobah

Dagobah Swamp

Episode V

  • Filmed in studio

Bespin

Cloud City, Bespin

Episode V

  • Filmed in studio

Death Star II

Death Star II Interior/ Exterior

  • Filmed in Studio

Endor

Episode VI

  • Redwood National Park, Del Norte County, California

Jakku

Episode VIII

  • Rub' al Khali Desert near Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Takodana

Woods Surrounding Mas Kanata's Castle

  • Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England

Air Fight Between Resistance & First Order

Episode VIII

  • Lake District National Park, England

Interior of Maz's Castle

Episode VIII

  • Filmed in studio

D'Qar

Resistance Base

Episode VIII

  • Royal Air Force Greenham Common, Berkshire, England

Starkiller Base

Exterior and Interior Scenes 

Episode VII

  • Filmed in studio

First Order Rally

Episode VIII

  • Krafla Volcano, Iceland

Ahch-to

Luke's Hiding Place

Episode VII

  • Skellig Michael, Ireland

Studios 

(*=Primary location)

  • Elstree Studios (Borehamwood, England)
    • Episodes II, III, IV*, V* & VI*
  • Fox Studios (Sydney, Austalia)
    • Episodes II*& III*
  • Pinewood Studios (Buckinghamshire, England)
    • Episode VII*
  • Leavesden Studios (Leavesden, Hertfordshire, England)
    • Episode I*
  • Shepperton Studios (Shepperton, Surrey, England)
    • Episodes III & IV
  • Ealing Studios (London, England)
    • Episode II
  • Bad Robot Productions (Santa Monica, California, USA)
    • Episode VII

Sources: Starwars.wikia.com, starwars.com, en.wikipedia.org, imdb.com, movie-locations.com, starwarsplaces.com, starwarsplaces.com, atlasofwonders.com

Do you plan on visiting any of these locations? What's your favorite Star Wars planet? We think Naboo looks like an ideal location as opposed to the extreme heat of Mustafar or the blistering cold of Hoth. If you're planning on visiting any of the Star Wars filming locations, be sure to pick up some awesome Star Wars costumes and accessories so you can enjoy a lightsaber battle in the same places as they took place in the movie!

Design Credit: Brady Johnson

Devin Rubink
Devin Rubink

Devin Rubink is an Inbound Marketing Specialist for HalloweenCostumes.com. He is a film fanatic who enjoys watching anything from action, to comedy, to horror, and even movies that are so bad, they’re entertaining. Devin also enjoys dressing up in costumes with his daughters, although he finds it difficult to fit into some of the princess dresses. He studies Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit, to buff up his knowledge and help him achieve his dream of being a game show contestant.


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