Ever since the debut of Star Wars in 1977 fans have dreamed of traveling to a galaxy far, far, away. Unfortunately, the movies’ planets are fictional but, the good news is, most are portrayed by very real locations that are also among the most stunning destinations on Earth. Here are three more must-see locales from the latest movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Skellig Michael, Ireland
The final scene of Episode VII: The Force Awakens was shot on Skellig Michael, just off Ireland’s west coast. The shoot caused some controversy among conservationists afraid filming would have a negative impact on the UNESCO World Heritage site’s local wildlife. But, the controversy didn’t stop crews from returning to the site a few weeks later to film additional footage, rumored to be for Episode VIII. Tours to the island can be booked at skelligislands.com.
Forest of Dean, England
Puzzlewood, located within Forest of Dean, features perfectly knotted trees and wooden paths that have attracted filmmakers for decades. Not only is it said to be the inspiration for Lord of the Rings, but it has been used in many movies and TV shows, including Dr. Who. The location’s latest star turn in The Force Awakens has led the local tourism board to create a Film and TV Trail so visitors can easily find all of the key filming locations in the Gloucestershire park.
Rub’ al Khali Desert, Abu Dhabi
The Rub’ al Khali desert – also known as the Empty Quarter – located just outside of Abu Dhabi, plays the planet Jakku in the latest Star Wars film. The site is already a popular tourist destination as it is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world and can be toured by car.
Want to start planning your own Star Wars On Location Vacation? Get our Star Wars Travel Guide on Amazon for just $2.99 with more than 40 filming locations, conventions and Star Wars themed destinations.