[Updated October 2016]
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, opens on December 16 — but you don’t have to wait until the movie’s premiere to experience the Force. Here are eight of our favorite filming locations from the new and previous movies that travelers can visit right now.
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
The ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal serve as Rebel base Yavin 4 in “A New Hope.” In lieu of watching the Millennium Falcon land, climb to the Rebel soldier’s vantage point on Temple IV. From there, enjoy the familiar view of Temples I, II, and III.
Lake Como, Italy
You don’t have to book passage on a starship to visit Padmé Amidala’s home planet of Naboo; you just need to buy a plane ticket to Italy’s picturesque Lake Como. It’s here that Anakin Skywalker and Padamé share their first kiss and eventually marry in a secret ceremony. Many of the locations are private — Villa del Balbianello is a real-life wedding venue — but you can tour with a guide who was present during filming of “Attack of the Clones.”
Palace of Caserta, Italy
The Palace of Caserta in Southern Italy, once home to the Bourbon kings of Naples, doubles as the Naboo Royal Palace in “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” You can tour the historical apartments and gardens for €12 ($13-$14).
Hang En Cave, Vietnam
We don’t know yet what role this gigantic cave will play in “The Force Awakens,” but it’s the third largest in the world and looks like the perfect hideout for anyone trying to avoid the Imperial Forces. Several companies offer overnight expeditions to the cave, located in the Quang Binh province of central Vietnam.
Death Valley, California
Good news: You can find some of Tatooine a little closer to home than the North African desert. Several of the dusty landscapes were filmed in Death Valley National Park. The sand dunes just past Stovepipe Wells are the ones R2D2 crosses after parting ways with C3PO in “A New Hope,” and he eventually enters a small canyon at Artist’s Palette. In “Return of the Jedi,” the droids make their way to Jabba the Hutt’s palace on the park’s one-way, dirt road through Twenty Mule Team Canyon.
Redwood National and State Parks, California
The world’s tallest trees became the Forest Moon of Endor in “Return of the Jedi.” Although there’s some debate on the exact locations where scenes were filmed within Redwood National and State Parks (or if they were actually filmed on park land at all), you’ll recognize the landscape. It isn’t hard to image an Ewok rustling in the underbrush or a speeder bike dodging mammoth tree trunks here.
Puzzlewood, United Kingdom
This mystical place of ancient trees, moss-covered rocks, secret caves, and eerie maze of paths and passages appears in “The Force Awakens.” If it looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it on screen before. Puzzlewood has appeared in “Dr. Who,” the movie “Jack the Giant Slayer,” and several BBC programs, including “Merlin.”
One of the largest glaciers in Norway, Hardangerjokulen doubles as the ice planet Hoth in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Scenes were shot about four miles from Finse 1222 Hotel, where crew stayed during filming.