In celebration of May the 4th – otherwise known as ‘Star Wars Day’, we felt it would be fitting to map out the ultimate guide to the Star Wars galaxy by taking a look back at some of the iconic settings from the Star Wars films and compare them to the real-life landscapes and locations that inspired them.
Star Wars: Varykino On The Planet Naboo
The Star Wars Scene Varykino, on the planet Naboo featured below is Padme’s family lake retreat. We first witness Varykino during Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, when Padme and Anakin Skywalker visit the planet (and their young love blooms), returning there at the end of the film to elope.
Real Life: Lake Como, Italy
Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como, Italy is a historic villa nestled on the tip of a peninsular overlooking Lake Como. The area has been used as the setting and inspiration for feature films including Star Wars: Episode IIand Casino Royale.
Star Wars: Planet Mustafar
The planet Mustafar was the backdrop for the climactic confrontation between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker at the end of Star Wars Episode III : Revenge of the Sith.
Real Life: Mount Etna, Italy
Although Lucasfilms created Planet Mustafar digitally and the actors were filmed against green screens, Mount Etna conveniently erupted while the Star Wars crew was filming in Italy and George Lucas sent a team to film the volcano’s lava flows to be used in the digital creation of the lava planet.
Star Wars: Tatooine
The Lars family moisture farm on Tatooine was where Luke Skywalker grew up before following Obi-Wan Kenobi on his crusade in the original 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Real Life: Tunisia, Africa
The location for the Tatooine scenes was Chott El Jerid, a dry salt lake in south-west Tunisia. The original sets from the 1970s had all been removed, but were rebuilt in 2000 to match the original plans for filming on Episodes II and III. The site was subsequently renovated by Star Wars fans between 2010 and 2012.
Star Wars: Theed
Theed was the capital city of the planet Naboo and was featured during Padme’s funeral at the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Real Life: Seville, Spain
Although this scene was filmed at Fox Studios in Sydney, the look for the setting in Theed was based upon the Plaza de Espana in Seville, which was used during the filming of Star Wars Episode II : Attack of the Clones.
Star Wars: Tatooine’s Jundland Wastes
Tatooine’s Jundland Wastes was first seen when Anakin Skywalker returned to his home planet to search for his mother, Shmi Skywalker. who had been kidnapped by the nomadic Tusken Raiders (Sandpeople).
The Sandpeople who kidnapped Anakin’s mother also attacked Luke Skywalker in the Jundland Wastes during Episode IV, leading to his rescue by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Real Life: Death Valley, USA
Although the Jundland Wastes was a digital creation, the setting was based on the look of Death Valley in California, which was used as a filming location for the original Star Wars film in 1977.
By Sophie Leask