Over 40 years since George Lucas first introduced us to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca et al – the epic franchise has had an incredible impact on the world.
But we found ourselves asking, “In a movie set in space, where on Earth do they film these spectacular locations?” Luckily for us fans, a lot of them are right here in Europe, and you can go there to relive some of the most iconic scenes in movie history.
Here are 17 Star Wars film locations you need to visit.
You might know Canto Bight as the capital city of Cantonica, but for us, it’s the gorgeous city of Dubrovnik in southern Croatia.
Canto Bight was a holiday destination for wealthy tourists and war profiteers, but you can visit Dubrovnik without having to break the bank or engage in intergalactic warfare.
You might recognise the main street of Dubrovnik from Episode VIII and is a great way to kick off your voyage of must-see Star Wars film locations.
If you want to relive the first time Rey and Luke Skywalker met, or re-enact scenes from Rey’s Jedi training then you should definitely make the trip off the coast of Co. Kerry in Ireland.
Even if you’re not a massive Star Wars buff, Skellig Michael is a picturesque and beautiful island worth a visit.
Feel the force of the Atlantic wind as you walk the same ground as Luke Skywalker and Rey in Episode VII and VIII.
The sweeping marble staircase inside the Palace of Caserta stars Episode I and II as the magnificent location for the Theed Royal Palace of the Royal House of Naboo.
The palace stood the test of time through the Rise of the Empire and Rebellion Era and is one of the dream Star Wars film locations to visit for fans of the franchise or Georgian architecture, or both.
Staying on the planet of Naboo, Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como set the scene for Anakin and Padmé’s wedding in Episode II.
This idyllic location in Milan has since become a much sought after wedding venue for Star Wars fans all over the world.
We can only get you there, you’ll have to find your own C-3PO and R2-D2 to act as witnesses.
During the filming of Episode III, Mount Etna erupted, and camera crews were sent to capture as many angles of the eruption as possible.
This footage was used in the legendary lightsabre duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
Needless to stay, make sure you pack your lightsaber to get some top-notch Instagrams.
Planet Jedha – a pilgrimage for those seeking spiritual guidance. There isn’t many better ways to celebrate May the 4th than by making a trip to Wadi Rum to walk on the moon that is worshipped by so many who believe in The Force.
And luckily for you, Ryanair just announced routes from Europe to Jordan to get you there without any fuss. Happy Star Wars Day!
The Battle of Hoth can be considered one of the greatest victories or worst defeats in the history of Star Wars, depending on which side you’re on.
An Imperial invasion aimed at destroying the Rebel Alliance’s base led to a major victory for the Galactic Empire.
And who would have guessed that this epic battle was fought on the icy landscape of the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in Norway?
Relive this major battle by flying with Ryanair to Haugesund.
We spoke about Naboo earlier in this list but we have to talk about the Plaza de España in Seville.
The Plaza de España was used for exterior shots of the City of Theed in Episode II and its curved colonnade is a beautiful sight for Star Wars and architecture fans alike.
The snow-covered peak of the Jungfraujoch in Grindelwald provided the backdrop for the planet of Alderaan.
Alderaan was destroyed in Episode IV by the Death Star, but thankfully Jungfraujoch still remains.
An empty expanse of tarmac at Bovingdon Airfield was used as one of the Star Wars film locations for battle scenes on the surface of the remote, tropical planet of Scarif.
It’s less than hour by train from Euston station. So if you’re heading to London any time soon, it’s worth the journey.
The interior of Canary Wharf was used as the location for the Imperial Base in Rogue One.
Keep an eye out for the tube station’s Norman Foster-designed escalators and glass safety doors which are pretty easy to spot in the film.
Head to Cumbria to gaze at the view over Derwentwater towards Maiden Moor, which was the picturesque lakeside setting of Maz Kanata’s Castle on Takodana in Episode VII.
Althought some of the Lakeland Fells in the background were altered with CGI, it’s still a beautiful sight to behold. Bring a picnic. Rootleaf stew anyone?
Staying in Cumbria, the Thirlmere Reservoir provided the backdrop for some low-level X-Wing flight sequences over Takodana.
Apparently the background was flipped horizontally, so you might have to do some head tilting and squinting to get the full effect.
We’re not done with Takodana yet, with a number of forest scenes taking place around the moss-covered rocks in Puzzlewood Forest.
Disused missile silos at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire were used as the backdrop for the Resistance Base in Episode VII and VIII.
You can tie your hair up in buns and pose in front of them pretending you’re Princess Leia, if you want. You won’t get a better chance.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Royal Air Force stations were used to depict Rebel bases.
This former one in Cardington provided that hangar for the Rebel Base for scenes inside the Massassi Temple on the Fourth Moon of Yavin IV.
The glade in Whippendell Wood might bring back a lot of memories for die hard Star Wars fans.
This scene in a Naboo forest was the first time Qui-Gon Jinn met Obi-Wan Kenobi with Jar Jar Binks. The rest, as they say, was history.
And that’s our list of the Star Wars film locations you need to visit. Have a great Star Wars Day, however you’re celebrating.
May the 4th be with you. (And also with you).
- Seán Walsh