Filming locations for the seven Star Wars films have spanned continents and climates over the past five decades. Whether you consider "Episode IV: A New Hope" or "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" to be the correct starting place for the franchise, the Skywalker origin story runs through Tunisia, which stood in for Tatooine in both films.
The exterior of the home where Luke Skywalker grew up still stands in Chott el Djerid, Tunisia. The decades since filming in the 1970s were not kind to the set, which became the focus of a preservation effort a few years ago. That project has since been completed, and fan Mark Dermul, who helped spearhead the "Save Lars" initiative, sent CNET this photo of the fully restored exterior for the Lars homestead.
Ireland's Unesco world heritage site Skellig Michael was one of the locations for the filming of "Episode VII: The Force Awakens." A monastery was founded on the rocky island in the 6th century, only to be abandoned six centuries later. Eight more centuries on, the Force has finally arrived. Local YouTuber Bold Puppy edited together some footage of the group's home county with a Death Star in the sky above.
Filming at iconic world heritage sites is something of a Star Wars tradition. The Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala became the rebel base Yavin 4 in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope." The interior shots were filmed in a studio because centuries-old pyramids don't tend to be that roomy or have the best lighting.
The desert community of Mos Espa on Tattoine was a lively place in "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" as the hometown of Anakin Skywalker, but the set was built in a very windy part of Tunisia's desert and sands began to overtake it, prompting an Indiegogo campaign to dig it out. Unfortunately, the crowdfunding effort fell far short of its goal and recent satellite images show sand dunes beginning to swallow part of Mos Espa (PDF).
In "Episode II: Attack of the Clones," the main plaza in the Spanish city of Seville stands in for the city of Theed on Naboo, although computers were used in post-production to make both the city skyline and the plaza itself appear much bigger than Seville actually is.
In 2014, a drone flew over Greenham Common, a retired British air force facility, just as the crew was packing up from filming "Episode VII: The Force Awakens."
The colorful area known as Artist's Pallette in Death Valley also stood in for Tatooine in some desert scenes. Darth Vader made a homecoming here of sorts a few years back when a dude in a Vader outfit ran a marathon in the summer heat.
Images of these Swiss mountains were used as the backdrop for Princess Leia's home planet, the ill-fated Alderaan. Don't worry, we're not letting this guy's Death Star anywhere near this place.
Northern California's giant redwood forests doubled as home to the Ewoks on planet Endor. There won't be any Ewoks in "Episode VII: The Force Awakens," but if you need your fix of the furry guys, you can check out the 1984 "Ewok Adventure" spin-off.
With Tunisia a little less stable today than it was in the 1970s, Abu Dhabi ended up being the principal locations for desert scenes in "Episode VII: The Force Awakens."
It's possible to have your own nuptials at the spot where Anakin and Padme wed by traveling to Lake Como, Italy, which is beautiful in its own right, but unlike Planet Naboo, lacks a metropolis perched atop cliffs flanked by waterfalls that literally make it out-of-this-world gorgeous.
If visiting filming locations on Earth just doesn't seem satisfying for your Jedi heart, astronomers have located a few worlds beyond our solar system that might resemble a real-life Tatooine or Hoth. Unfortunately, we don't yet have the means of traveling there, although NASA does have the tourism poster ready.