Star Wars is a space opera franchise launched in 1977 with the Star Wars film, later known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. While set "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away", many of the locations are real-world places, some of them open to visitors.
Spoiler alert! This article reveals plot details.
|“||The Force will be with you. Always.||”|
—Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode IV
The core of the Star Wars franchise is the nine films of the Skywalker Saga; The original trilogy (episodes IV-VI, released 1977-1983), the prequel trilogy (I-III, released 1999-2005), and the sequel trilogy (VII-IX, released 2015-19).
The prequels depict Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker's forbidden love story with Queen Padmé Amidala, and his transformation to evil Sith lord Darth Vader, parallel to the Galactic Republic's corruption and transformation to the Galactic Empire.
An intermediate film, Rogue One, tells the story of how the rebels stole the plans for the Empire's deadly new weapon, the Death Star.
The original trilogy depicts young Luke Skywalker's journey to become a Jedi knight, leading the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire.
The sequel trilogy is showing the continuing struggle between the Rebels and the successor of the defeated Empire, the First Order.
Within the fan community, the films are usually referred to by their Roman number; e.g. "I" for Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Spin-off works have their own notation, such as R1 for Star Wars: Rogue One.
The franchise also includes several anthology films, television series, novels, video games, action figures and other material.
The fourth of May is known as Star Wars Day as many fans say the phrase "May the 4th be with you".
The original "Star Tours" shut down in 2010, however attractions known as "Star Tours – The Adventures Continue" opened in four locations the year after:
- 1 Hollywood Studios, Florida.
- 2 Disneyland Park, California.
- 3 Tokyo Disneyland, Japan.
- 4 Disneyland Paris, France.
Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Episode II - Attack of the Clones
- 2 Seville. Plaza de España stands in for city Theed on the planet Naboo.
- 3 Villa del Balbianello, Via Comoedia 5, Lenno (Tremezzo, Italy). The wedding scene in Episode II takes place here.
Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Episode IV - A New Hope
- 5 Matmata (Tunisia). Scenes of the desert planet Tatooine in a number of Star Wars films were filmed here. Also see the nearby town of Tataouine, where a little filming was also done.
- 7 Tikal (Guatemala). Scenes from the rebel base on Yavin 4 were filmed at the Mayan city of Tikal. As the Millenium Falcon approaches the city, the cameras were positioned on Temple IV of the site with the panorama clearly showing Temples I, II, and III rising up from the jungle.
Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
- 8 Hardangerjøkulen (Hardanger Glacier), Finse/Hardangervidda (Norway). 24 h. On the large glaciers in Norway. Hiking the glacier is only for experts; do not attempt a hike on your own. The Battle of Hoth (V) was filmed here. Free.
Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
- 9 Redwood National Park. The Battle of Endor (VI) was filmed north of here on private logging company land (shortly thereafter clearcut) near Smith River; the speeder chase scene was filmed at the Chetham Grove section of Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park to the south: Map of the Movies, Humboldt - Del Norte Film Commission, http://filmhumboldtdelnorte.org/sites/default/files/map-of-the-movies_0.pdf.
Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
- 11 Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia). Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat, and a very dry place, but in Star Wars Episode VIII, it stood in as the ice planet Crait.
Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- 12 Canary Wharf (London, England). The tube station was used in Rogue One as the Imperial security complex on Scarif.