For as long as there has been cult sci-fi and Fantasy films and tv shows, there has been some sort of demand for travel to filming locations and attractions centered around them. These days, this type of travel has become very popular with the rise of “geek” culture and fandoms. Over the next few blogs, I will be outlining some of these destinations for specific shows and movies as well as a blog on cities that embrace the geek culture.
This week is Star Wars just a few of the top Star Wars destinations!
Endor- The forest scenes for the home of the Ewoks, was filmed in the Redwood National and State parks In California. Stay: Holiday Inn Klamath (Redwood National Park)
Hoth- The frozen planet of Hoth was filmed on the Hardangerjøkulen glacier near Finse, Norway. Actors had to endure sub zero temperatures during filming, but you can keep warm with a stay at Finse 1222 Hotel. This hotel is also a setting for Anne Holt’s novel 1222.
Naboo- Naboo, to me, has some of the most stunning landscapes. Its cities, in their classical style are also beautiful. The only downside is that it is also home to the Gungans, ie the most hated character of the whole franchise, Jar Jar Binks. There were a few locations used for the multiple scenes of Naboo, including the Whippendell woods near London and the Villa del Balbianello on the edge of Lake Como in Italy.
Yavin- In particular one of its moons, Yavin 4, was filmed at the Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala. These temples, some 70m high, situated in thick forest are worth seeing, even without their connections to the Star Wars Universe.
Tatooine and the Cantina- Both of these locations are located in Tunisia, including the Lars Homestead and many of the desert scenes. The Lars homestead was left to decay after the original movies, rebuilt for the prequels and then left again to ruin. The restoration was fundraised by a fan on facebook and the set was rebuilt. Unfortunately at this point in time, Tunisia is not safe for travel, so for the time being, this is not exactly a viable travel destination.
Disney parks- Disneyland is in its early stages of creating a Star Wars land. At the moment there is the Star tours ride and Space Mountain has temporarily been re themed as Hyperspace Mountain for the star wars movie release.
San Francisco- Lucasfilms has its base in San Fran, so the city itself attracts fans for various attractions
- Lucasfilm- Visit the life sized Darth Vader in the lobby or the Yoda fountain out the front.
- Rancho Obi-Wan- Is the largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in existence. Private tours can be organized with the owner, however you must be a member first ($40USD/year)
As always: May the force be with you!