Lonely Planet Writer

In a galaxy far, far away – the real-life locations of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that travellers can visit

The Star Wars franchise inspires millions of dedicated fans who remain captivated by the worlds created in the series over the decades. But until inter-galactic space travel becomes a reality, all the incredible landscapes used in the films have to be found here on Earth, and lucky for travellers, they can visit.

The cast of Rogue One.
The cast of Rogue One. Image by Lucasfilm Ltd.

The latest instalment of the franchise – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – will be released in theatres on 16 December. The story is set before the events of the original Star Wars films, and follows a group of rebels who must steal the designs for the Death Star – which will ultimately end up in the hands of Luke Skywalker at the beginning of the original movie.

Aerial View of Alidhoo Maldives.
Aerial View of Alidhoo Maldives. Image by muha/Getty Images

While it’s only a day until Star Wars fans can explore the galaxy on the big screen, avid travellers can start planning a trip to the real-life counterparts right now. Skyscanner rounded up some of the filming locations in the new film – and they’ll likely have people dreaming of their next trip. For those who love a bit of luxury and warm weather, look no further than the Maldives, which was used for the planet of Scarif. The scenes were mainly shot on Gan, one of the largest islands in the Maldives, and Berasdhoo island. The Maldives, roughly 1200 islands in the Indian Ocean, are beloved for their gorgeous beaches with white sand and blue water, and the many luxury hotels dotted around the atolls.

Eastern exit at Canary Wharf Underground station.
Eastern exit at Canary Wharf Underground station. Image by Kenny McCartney/Getty Images

While the natural beauty of the Maldives is showcased in the new film, there are also some more “man-made” locations used to simulate the technologically-advanced world of the Star Wars Universe. While the London Underground is generally associated with the drudgery of a morning commute, the Canary Wharf tube station in London is used in the film as a military compound.

Miniature volcano which is called Solfatara on Iceland. Captured at the geothermal area Hverarönð east of lake Mývatn.
Miniature volcano which is called Solfatara on Iceland. Captured at the geothermal area Hverarönð east of lake Mývatn. Image by Dennis Fischer Photography/Getty Images

And if one otherworldly location looks familiar to Game of Thrones fans, look no further than Iceland, as parts of the movie was filmed at Krafla and Lake Mývatn. Krafla, an active volcanic region, and Mývatn, a lake surrounded by lava formations and volcanic craters, manage to create the eerie planet of Eadu.

The Skelligs.
The Skelligs. Image by Fáilte Ireland

Being featured in a Star Wars movie can lead to a huge bump in tourism. Ireland saw a huge spike in interest in the rocky outcrop of Skellig Michael after the the dramatic island – which was used as a Christian monastery in between the sixth and eighth centuries – was used in a pivotal scene of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Many other countries have made appearances throughout the series, including Guatemala, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia and more. To see exactly where to go on a Star Wars vacation, Statista created a map showing all the countries used in the films.

Infographic: The Real Star Wars Universe | Statista
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