Chances are that the latest franchise of Star Wars has made you realize why this is in fact the greatest series in the world. Star Wars weaves an extraordinary tale that takes the audience on a thrilling ride around the mysteries of the world. From the weaponized ice planet to a world potentially full of space pirates, Star Wars has taken us to an epic imaginary world which implores us to re-imagine and re-create our ideas about the exotic planets that surround us.
Here are a few locations where The Force Awakens was shot, that helped make some of the film’s magic:
1. Mývatn lake and Krafla volcano, Iceland
Speculation is rife that many of the cold, winter scenes were shot in Iceland near Mývatn and Krafla. This gorgeous landscape is full of craters, lakes and active volcanoes. The volcano at Krafla has been dormant since 1984 but still has lava fields surrounding it that ooze streams of lava on the surface. The teal green lake that has been caused by a crater is simply stunning too. Besides acting as a location for star Wars, this place is famous for viewing northern lights too.
2. Rub' al Khali desert in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Chances are that some of the scenes that you see as the desolate Jakku were shot at Rub al Khali desert in Abu Dhabi. The filming of the scenes at the Empty Quarter was no small feat and made for an interesting experience for the cast and crew of the film. Rub al Khali is the world’s largest contiguous desert and this made it easy for the makers to stage intergalactic battles. A small city was created at a secret location for the purposes of the film.
3. Skelling Michael, Ireland
This isolated island lying on the west of the Iveragh Peninsuala was fortunate enough to see some Star Wars action. The whole island was off limits for regular visitors during the days that the film was shot here. Its rugged natural beauty was perfect to create the sweeping vistas and otherworldly experience of the film. The island has been a UNESCO Heritage site since 1996 because of its protected wildlife and 7th century monastery.
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4. Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, UK
The enchanting beauty of Puzzlewood at the Forest of Dean inspired JJ Abrams to film his sci-fi wonder film here. The scenes of the Forest World where the heroes have an encounter with Kylo Ren were shot at this mystical location. The dense foliage of this forest has found the fancy of other great directors too, resulting in some epic cinema like Dr. Who and Merlin being shot here. The fantastic trails here are a favorite amongst people who want to connect with nature.
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5. Lake District, UK
Popular for its exciting watersports and picnic opportunities, Derwentwater lake will now also be known for its association with the legendary Star Wars franchise. Some of the iconic battle sequences in the film seem to have been shot here. The Derwent Island is a unique feature of this area. The house on this petite island is open for visitors only five times a year and is best reached on a canoe. The nearby Lodore falls are a beautiful sight too.
6. GAMA at RAF Greenham Common, UK
Once used for storing missiles but subsequently abandoned, this storehouse also made it to the latest Star Wars movie. This former RAF base was recently used as a place for storing cars when the makers of the movie saw it as a potential spot to film some scenes of the franchise. The GAMA site, where the film was shot is a privately owned area. The history of this place dates back to the Second World War and Cold War era, when it was actively in use by the RAF.
For an authentic ‘galaxy far, far away’ experience, you can also head to the Discovery Time Square at New York where 70 costumes from the Star Wars franchise are being exhibited until September 2016. Madame Tussauds in London has also unveiled an immersive experience on Star Wars featuring 16 most famous heroes and villans of the movie. Besides this, you can even head to a Disneyland close to you for Star Wars themed rides and attractions.