Warning: this article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett, episode 6.
With so many locations seen in the massively popular Disney Plus series The Book of Boba Fett, it’s easy to wonder where all of these extraordinary places are filmed. The show stars Temuera Morrison as the bounty hunter Boba Fett himself and Ming Na-Wen as his powerful partner Fennec Shand, and it’s created a lot of excitement on social media. The later episodes also feature an assortment of characters across the Star Wars universe, but when it comes to location, it all starts with the past.
The majority of The Book of Boba Fett takes place on Tatooine in a desert port called Mos Espa, which is the same place we first met young Anakin Skywalker before his life as a Jedi began. It’s a sandy planet with orbiting twin suns and is home to the indigenous Jawas, Tusken Raiders, and an assortment of races in the more populated areas. After Fett makes a harrowing escape from the belly of the Sarlacc Pitt in “Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land,” he finds himself braving the harshness of the planet while held prisoner of the Tuskens, but where exactly was all this filmed?
The answer is…the same place as The Mandalorian. In Nov. 2020, production started filming in Los Angeles, California, at the MBS Media Campus, where the production team uses some next-level technology to bring these shows to life. Designed by Light & Magic (ILM), StageCraft uses visual effects technology composed of a video wall. The soundstage where this virtual magic takes place is called The Volume, and it immerses the characters in a world of CG environments. The visual effects are produced in real-time using game engine technology and an LED wraparound screen to make their movements seamless. The realism of these virtual environments is uncanny, with computer-generated photo-real imagery implemented to make it appear as if characters are in all different kinds of locations when they haven’t even left the city.
The notable locations in The Book of Boba Fett include Jabba’s palace (which Fett claimed), the Sanctuary cantina owned by the Twi’lek Madam Garsa Fwip, and Mayor Mok Shaiz’s throne room within the city hall. As for the exterior shots, it’s believed that they were filmed on the El Segundo exterior set, also located in Los Angeles. Book of Boba Fett and Mandalorian cinematographer David Klein has said that it’s impossible to do day exterior if you need direct sunlight. He confirmed that if viewers see something that’s out in the open desert with direct sunlight, then it’s outside.
Reportedly, the transition between both shows was so smooth that crew members thought they were working on the new season of The Mandalorian. In actuality, there were upgrades made to StageCraft along the way. Between seasons one and two of The Mandalorian, the Volume was round, which was a problem because they had to re-record the dialogue on account of the echoes. The Volume became an oval in season two, and as long as the performer wasn’t dead center, they could record the sound more efficiently. It benefitted from these changes when it was time to film Boba Fett’s series.
In the original Star Wars released in 1977 and the subsequent films, Tatooine was filmed in Tunisia. In fact, there’s a real-life city known as Tataouine. George Lucas had originally imagined Tatooine as a jungle planet, but he ultimately went with a desert setting instead. The area where they filmed became a popular tourist attraction because many of the original Star Wars sets remained there.
When Mando arrived in “Chapter 5: Return of The Mandalorian,” the show expanded its locations beyond that of Tatooine. Viewers were treated to the epic ringworld called Glavis. The massive structure floated almost heavenly in space, in contrast to the gritty meat market Mando entered to complete his mission. He delivered the bounty and ventured through the awe-inspiring world, following Mythosaur signs down a hatch beneath Glavis to reunite with the Armorer. It’s there where another visually stunning scene occurs. In a flashback, TIE Bombers destroy Mandalore’s domed cities, covering the planet in explosions and fire in The Night of a Thousand Tears that nearly wiped out their entire culture.
Both series rely heavily on astonishing visual effects, but when you’re watching, it’s almost impossible not to believe everything is real.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming on Disney Plus.