We’re going to call it. ‘Rogue One – A Star Wars Story’ was one of the best Star Wars films to come out in recent years. If you loved it as much as we did, you’ll probably be curious which destinations were actually real places. There are more than you may think.
Without further ado, here are six Rogue One filming locations in a galaxy not so far away – and where you can stay to get the full experience nearby:
The planet of Jedha (Jordan)
“Rogue One” introduces fans to a few new planets in the Star Wars universe, including Jedha. According to StarWars.com, Jedha is home to one of the first civilisations to explore the nature of the Force, and even though it’s now occupied by the Galactic Empire, it’s still home to many from the Rebel Alliance. The Jedha scenes in “Rogue One” were filmed in Jordan, so why not embrace your inner Force with a stay at Salmon Zwaidh Camp. Located in the protected area of Wadi Rum, this authentic Bedouin camp is surrounded by orange-coloured rock mountains, which you’ll instantly recognise from scenes in the movie. You may want to check the travel alerts before making the trip though…
The planet of Scarif (Maldives)
Jedha is not the only new planet “Rogue One” will explore for the first time; the movie also introduces fans to Scarif, a tropical planet that used the Maldives as its filming location. In the movie, the island is the base used by the Empire to construct the Death Star, a destructive weapon designed to take out whole planets. Luckily on this planet you won’t need to pack your lightsaber as the Maldives’ turquoise waters and white sandy beaches aren’t being heavily defended by Stormtroopers. Instead, relax at Six Senses Laamu, an eco-friendly luxury resort with world-class service.
Imperial Military Base (London)
Once the “Rouge One” rebels get to Scarif, they begin targeting the Imperial Military Base, a place where important Imperial military training and research takes place. Filming of the inside of the Imperial Military Base took place in the Canary Wharf tube station in London, but there is so much more to explore in London than just this one site. Check out the Star Wars Identities – The Exhibition, in London until 3 September 2017, and get to know the Star Wars characters on a whole new level. After a day of exploring the expanded Star Wars universe, stay at Simply Serviced Apartments, a Duinarbulon Stone’s throw away from the Canary Wharf station, with a refreshing city and river views from the apartment balcony.
A flashback in “Rogue One” introduces us to another new planet in the Star Wars universe, Eadu, the possible home planet of heroine Jyn Erso (portrayed by Felicity Jones). The filming took place at Myrdalssandur Beach on the southern coast of Iceland. This area is known best for its black sand beaches, steep sea stacks and subpolar oceanic climate, so it’s easy to see why it was used as a setting for another planet. Warm up with a stay at the Icelandair Hotel Vik, which is only a short walk from the beach and offers out-of-this-world views of the sea, cliffs and Reynisdrangar sea stacks. To really feel like you’re in a different galaxy, you might even get lucky enough to glimpse the Northern Lights, and there’s not much that’s more galactic than that! Iceland was also the setting in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for some of the snow scenes for the Starkiller Base.
Jakku (Abu Dhabi)
Who can forget the previous film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was filmed at amazing locations all over the world including Rub’ al Khali desert just outside Abu Dhabi. Here is where Rey’s desert home planet is set and where Dameron and Finn crash-land after escaping from Starkiller Base. This location is popular with motor sport enthusiasts with the incredible sand dunes everywhere, as well as camel riding and falconry shows. After active day in the desert retreat for a bit of luxury at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort which features five pools, spa, private beach and a golf course next door.
D’Qar (Lake District, UK)
You might think the beautiful and tranquil Lake District is an unusual spot for a fight but it actually made for a great setting for some of the battle scenes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Derwentwater Lake in Cumbria is home to Derwent Island, which is only open to the public a handful of times a year and best reached by canoe. The area is popular with hikers, artists and those looking for a relaxing getaway. Set in the Lake District National Park is LakeSide House, a great stay right on the lake and guests can enjoy breakfast with views of the countryside and walk into town for shops, pubs and restaurants. The UK was a popular place for the film as the Royal Air Force Greenham Common in Berkshire was the setting for D’Qar and the woods surrounding Maz Kanata’s castle were filmed in the Forest of Dean.