With mere weeks until the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the new Han Solo Star Wars spin-off, the excitement is palpable as die-hard fans of the Jedi wait to see which far off galaxy their beloved hero will take them.
To celebrate the new film which by the way coincides with the 41st anniversary of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, The Travel Corporation Canada hand-picked the movie’s very real-world shooting locations that will allow travellers to visit a galaxy, far, far away without ever having to leave Earth. Millennium Falcon not included.
Could Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the north coast of Africa, be where fans will finally get a glimpse of Corellia, Han Solo’s home planet? The sandy deserts and volcanic landscape of the island mirror that of the fictional planet. It’s believed that filming took place in the Costa Calma area of the island which boasts kilometres of white sand and calm turquoise waters. Adventurists, like Han Solo, will be in paradise as long sunny days, intense wind, and waves up to two metres mean that the island has a long tradition of windsurfing and kite surfing. Wookies, on the other hand, may find the heat unbearable.
It might not possess the beauty of, London or rather Pinewood Studios, located 30 kilometres outside of the English capital served as the main shoot location for much of the film – as it did for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Unless you’re in the company of galactic royalty, the studio is largely closed off to the public. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of being in the vicinity where magic was made. Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum has a Star Wars Experience going on right now. This unique experience stars extraordinarily life-like wax figures of our favourite heroes and villains of Star Wars Episodes I-VI. Here you’ll be able to explore a galaxy of locations, including the swamps of Dagobah, Jabba’s Throne Room and the flight deck of the Millennium Falcon.
Set against 18 otherworldly peaks that cover 350,000 acres, it’s no wonder why the cast and crew flew to the breathtaking Dolomites mountain range to film. Located in northeastern Italy, this dramatic rocky rooftop boasts some of Europe’s most stunning panorama views. Fans can be forgiven if they feel a sense of déjà vu. Italy was also used in past films in which Lake Como served as Naboo for the secret wedding between Anakin and Queen Padmé Amidala and where Obi-Wan and Anakin lightsabered it out against the backdrop of Mount Etna. For those looking to recreate key Star Wars scenes in Italy, check out Insight Vacations’ 11-day ‘Country Roads of Northern Italy’ journey that explores the mighty Dolomites where you can surround yourself with the towering cathedrals of rock, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lake Como, Milan, Venice and Verona.
Scorching sun, sparsely populated and the desert as far as the eye can see. No this isn’t Tatooine, we’re talking about Tunisia. From a balmy, sand-fringed Mediterranean coast to Saharan sand seas, it’s no wonder why George Lucas and team decided to film the first six Star Wars movies here. For those that want to make a pilgrimage to Luke Skywalker’s home, head over to Hotel Sidi Driss located in the village of Matmâta. It was used in A New Hope and in following years, fell into obscurity but has now been restored to its former glory, Star Wars decorations and all.
Tikal was once one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya civilization. Located in what is now the northern part of the Guatemalan rainforest, this ancient cultural centre is to the Latin American country what the Great Pyramids are to Egypt. The city flourished between 200 and 850 A.D. and its iconic ruins of temples and palaces include the giant, ceremonial Lost World (Mundo Perdido) Pyramid and the Temple of the Grand Jaguar. But Star Wars fans may recognize it as Yavin 4, the jungle-covered fourth moon where Luke, Han Solo and crew land the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope. Tikal may seem like a place that’s inaccessible, but Contiki has a 13-day ‘Sol Seeker’ adventure that will get you in on the action.