The latest instalment in the epic Star Wars saga will be hitting cinemas this month. Since the very first Star Wars in 1977, which used the Tunisian desert as a stand-in for the planet Tatooine, these movies have been know for using exotic real world filming locations rather than artificial sets. Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues the tradition, with the cast and crew travelling the globe to find other-worldly spaces that could double for alien worlds – all of which you can visit yourself.
Skellig Michael and Ceann Sibeal, Ireland
The Last Jedi opens right where the last film left off, on the remote, watery planet of Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker is hiding out and living a hermit-like existence. The real life location is Skellig Michael, a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean off the west cost of Ireland. The former ancient monastery and Unesco World heritage site is dotted with stone stairways and buildings which are used in the film.
The island is also home to a large puffin population, and it’s reported that the puffins are what gave the filmmakers inspiration for the Porgs – the small, bird-like creatures seen in the trailers.
As beautiful as Skellig Michael is, it wasn’t the most accessible of locations. Other Ahch-To scenes were filmed in-land on the Ceann Sibeal golf course on the Dingle Peninsula. The lush, coastal scenery blends well with the nearby Skellig Michael.
The city of Dubrovnik was famously used to film the King’s Landing scenes in Game of Thrones. It now doubles as the shining casino city of Canto Bight. Star Wars films have been known to mix old, worn-looking architecture with futuristic technology – which Dubrovnik lends itself to perfectly with its medieval buildings.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The world’s largest salt flats are found in Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes. The eerie desert is used as the mining planet Crait, the location of a large battle between the Resistance and the First Order in the film. The trailer shows a fleet of ships kicking-up blood-red dust as they fly close to the ground – this unfortunately is just a visual effect created for the film, and not a real life natural phenomenon!