While some of us would love to travel to that galaxy far, far away, it’s definitely not a realistic option. All nine of the Star Wars films were clearly shot here on Earth and we’ve rounded up some of the best travel destinations in America that resemble some of those far-off planets- no need to book passage to the Outer Rim to get to these fun spots.
The Star Wars Guide to America
Scenes in Naboo were filmed in Lake Como, Italy and Seville, Spain. Fortunately, there are a few places stateside that are east to reach stand-ins for those international destinations. Saint Augustine is one of the oldest cities in America and boasts plenty of Spanish influence in its architecture.
If you’re looking for more of that lakeside retreat, check out Bellagio Las Vegas. The entire resort is themed around Bellagio in Lake Como (t’s also less than a parsec away from… anywhere on the planet).
Numerous desert scenes in “A New Hope” and “Return of the Jedi” in the original trilogy were filmed in Death Valley National Park, which is a fairly easy-to-reach destination from Nevada and California. One look at the endless sand dunes, and you’ll think you were on a distant desert planet.
The rocky terrain of Geonosis (from “Attack of the Clones”) is reminiscent of Valley of Fire State Park just north of Las Vegas. The red rocks and jagged landscape are relatively similar to the planet of large winged inhabitants.
Sadly, we never got a very good look at Alderaan before it was… well, blown to bits by the Death Star. If you watched the prequels, you’d have seen a brief snippet of mountainous terrain and snow-capped peaks (the actual filming location was Grindelwald, Switzerland). For a similar vibe (minus the planetary destruction), visit Aspen, Colorado.
Take a visit to Alaska, and you can enjoy the snowy climates without the wampas (although there are definitely plenty of other animals you might want to watch out for). Luckily, there are also numerous lodging and activity options perfect for winter lovers.
While you’re not likely to find any exiled Jedi Masters in the swamps of North America, they might be as close as you’ll find to the planet of Dagobah without having to go off-world. Make a visit to Everglades National Park and book a swamp tour. You can look out for plenty of green creatures- but you won’t find Yoda anywhere.
For a look at some towering redwoods, make a visit to Redwood National and State Parks. The Endor scenes in “Return of the Jedi” were filmed here, and while you won’t find Ewoks roaming the area, there are fantastic hiking options filled with scenic points.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is the closest you’ll find to terrain like Mustafar. Known mainly as the planet where Anakin Skywalker (soon to be Darth Vader) and Obi-Wan Kenobi battled to the near death in "Revenge of the Sith" from the prequel trilogy, Mustafar is also known for its rather inhospitable volcanic environment. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park encompasses two active volcanoes, and eruptions are frequent- make sure to check the National Park Services website for the eruption forecast if you’re hoping to catch one.