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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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