This may come as a disappointing shock to many, but the Star Wars franchise is not actually filmed in space nor on distant planets; the budget simply didn’t exist back then, nor does it now.
Upsetting revelations aside, the franchise takes great pride in its terrestrial filming locations and, in honour of Earth Day, the official Star Wars UK Twitter page posted a series of photos from across our planet that served as key settings throughout the films.
The four shots consist of Tunisian town Matmata, Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park in California, Ireland’s Skellig Islands, and Reynisfjara in Iceland.
Matmata, a small town in southern Tunisia, was used for footage in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Fans will immediately recognize the photo as a shot of Tatooine, the home of Luke Skywalker. Specifically, the residence that Skywalker resides in is actually a hotel, known as the Hotel Sidi Driss. The location also featured briefly in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
California’s Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park was used as a filming location in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. A very specific part of this park, Cheatham Grove, was used to film the iconic speeder-bike chase scenes. Interestingly, the grove wasn’t added to the park until 1983; the same year the film was released, and a year after filming had taken place.
Those who have kept up with the sequel trilogy may recognize Ireland’s Skellig Islands, which served as Luke Skywalker’s sanctuary in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In real life, the islands house the remains of an ancient Christian monastery known as Great Skellig; which serve as the remains of an ancient Jedi temple in the film.
Finally, the beach Reynisfjara was one of many Icelandic filming locales used for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The beach serves as the backdrop for planet Eadu, which houses an Imperial weapons facility in the film.