The Star Wars franchise has captured the imaginations of millions around the world, transporting them to galaxies far, far away. While the epic battles between the forces of good and evil that we’ve seen on our screens (both big and small) are set in different places across the universe, the actual Star Wars filming locations that have served as the backdrop for these cinematic adventures are equally captivating.

From lush forests to vast deserts, from historic cities to otherworldly landscapes, the franchise has taken us on a visual journey through diverse and breathtaking filming locations across the globe. Each destination was chosen for its unique charm, architectural splendour or natural beauty and has contributed to the immersive and fantastical universe. Some of the popular countries where these films have been shot include Italy, Croatia and the USA.

So, if you’re a Star Wars fan who has thought about all the places to visit in the Star Wars universe, this list is just for you. 

Nine ‘Star Wars’ filming locations that die-hard fans of the franchise can actually visit

From Tunisia to Ireland, from Croatia and Italy to the United States, let’s uncover the secrets and stories behind these extraordinary places that have brought the Star Wars films to life.

Death Valley National Park, USA

Star Wars Filming Locations
Image credits: Brocken Inaglory/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Death Valley National Park in California was used as the filming location for the desert planet of Jakku. Specifically, scenes involving Rey’s scavenger outpost were shot in Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, a popular area within the park. The stark desert landscape and towering sand dunes provided the perfect backdrop for Jakku’s desolate environment. Fans of the Star Wars franchise can visit Death Valley National Park and explore the iconic sand dunes that were featured in the movie.

Skellig Michael, Ireland

Star Wars Filming Locations
Image credits: Jerzy Strzelecki/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

The island of Skellig Michael, located off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland, was used as a filming location for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Skellig Michael served as the backdrop for the planet Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker was found in self-imposed exile. The island’s rugged cliffs, ancient stone structures, and remote setting made it the perfect choice to depict the isolated Jedi temple. Fans can visit Skellig Michael and see the actual filming location, although it’s important to note that access to the island is regulated and subject to weather conditions.


Star Wars Filming Locations
Picture credits: Manel JGuirim/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

The original Star Wars film, released in 1977, included scenes set on the fictional desert planet of Tatooine that were filmed in Tunisia. Several iconic locations in the country were used to depict Tatooine, including the town of Tataouine, which inspired the name of the fictional planet. If you’re interested in visiting these Star Wars-inspired locations in Tunisia, you can explore the desert landscapes and also visit some of the local towns that served as filming locations.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Star Wars Filming Locations
Image credit: misaochan/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

While complete filming of the Star Wars movies might not have happened in Grindelwald, Switzerland, the spectacular mountains here were used as the backdrop for films such as Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Additionally, the snow-capped mountains were used to represent the planet Alderaan, which was Princess Leia’s home.

Villa del Balbianello, Italy

Star Wars Filming Locations
Image credit: Villa del Balbianello

Italy is home to several beautiful Star Wars filming locations. One such location includes Villa del Balbianello – a stunning villa located on the shores of Lake Como in Italy that was featured in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones as the retreat of Padmé Amidala. It also served as the Lake Retreat where Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala fall in love.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Image credit: Chensiyuan/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

Like Italy, Croatia is another popular destination that has been used as a filming location for the Star Wars movies. The beautiful city of Dubrovnik, with its well-preserved medieval walls and stunning architecture, has also served as the backdrop for the city of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. While not directly connected to Star Wars, Dubrovnik was used as a filming location for the casino city of Canto Bight in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Rub’ al Khali, UAE

Star Wars Filming Locations
Image credit: Nepenthes/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

The Rub’ al Khali, also known as the Empty Quarter, is a vast desert located primarily in Saudi Arabia, with portions extending into other Gulf countries including the United Arab Emirates. The desert served as the backdrop for the desert planet of Jakku in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Various scenes were filmed in the desert dunes and landscapes of Abu Dhabi, providing the arid and otherworldly setting for Rey’s journey. The city’s modern architecture and unique structures were also utilised for filming other sequences in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Image credit: Zysko serhii/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

The Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is known for its cascading lakes and waterfalls and was used to represent the planet of Naboo in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. The park’s stunning lush greenery and pristine water provided a picturesque setting for the scenes involving Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala. This is, undoubtedly, one of the most stunning places to visit in the Star Wars universe.

Redwood National and State Parks, USA

Image credit: Michael Schweppe/CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

While not directly connected to the Star Wars films, the towering redwood forests of Northern California have served as inspiration for the lush and dense forests depicted in the films, such as the forest moon of Endor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

(Hero and feature image credit: Courtesy IMDb/Star Wars)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Where was Return of the Jedi filmed?

Answer: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was filmed in Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, Southeast England.

Question: Where was Star Wars 2 filmed?

Answer: Star Wars 2 was filmed in Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. Additional footage was filmed in Tunisia, Spain and Italy.

Question: Where is The Acolyte being filmed?

Answer: The Acolyte is being filmed in Madeira Island, Portugal.

written by.

Sanika Achrekar

Digital Writer, Augustman
Sanika lives for fashion and skincare. She enjoys writing about style, beauty, and lifestyle. She worked as a fashion writer for Man's World India magazine. When not writing about designers and trends, she likes to shop, travel, try new Sushi restaurants, practise pilates and rewatch her comfort shows.
9 ‘Star Wars’ Filming Locations Fans Can Actually Visit In 2023
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