4 Places to Go if You Love Star Wars

From the Red Woods in California to Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland, these locations will bring Star Wars to life.

Photograph courtesy of National Park Service.

As the final chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker, hits theatres this month, we spotlight a few places where you can discover The Force on your next vacation.

Death Valley National Park, California

Photograph by Dean_Fikar/iStock.

Six places in this park, which is located about two and a half hours from Las Vegas, were used to film scenes in 1977’s A New Hope—the area served as Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine—and 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Death Valley’s website has a guide for fans who wish to visit the filming locations.


Skellig Michael, Ireland

Photograph courtesy of Skellig Michael.

Once home to a sixth-century monastic settlement, this island is located 12 kilometres off the west coast of Ireland. Fans of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will recognize it as Luke’s hideaway. Visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage Site are limited, but companies offer boat tours of the island from the water.


Imperial Sand Dunes, Arizona

Photograph courtesy of Visit Yuma.

Important scenes from Return of the Jedi were filmed at this park, located 15 minutes from Yuma and a three-hour drive west of Phoenix. Jabba the Hutt’s barge was built here, and scenes involving key characters almost being swallowed by a sand-buried monster were also made at this recreational area.


Redwood National and State Park, California

Photograph by Yaya Ernst/iStock.

There is speculation about the exact locations where Return of the Jedi scenes were filmed, but it is known this park inspired George Lucas to create the forested moon, Endor. Parts of the speeder bike scenes were shot at Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.


Star Wars at Disney


The size, in acres, of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.


The number of unique lightsaber combinations that can be built using various different components at the theme parks’ Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers attraction.


The size, in feet, of the Millennium Falcon at the Black Spire Outpost Spaceport. Galaxy Edge is the first time a full-size, 100 per cent complete version of the spaceship has ever been built.

[This story appears in the December 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]