Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Star Wars! I don't think there's any greater franchise. It's more than just films, it's a cultural phenomenon. The first Star Wars movie came in 1977 and revolutionized Hollywood and changed the way films were made. Today there's six Star Wars movies, and they are made by George Lucas who also wrote the story. when I first thought about finding the Star Wars filming locations, I though there wasn't much to find. for when I hear Star Wars, I think about spaceships and futuristic environments. So what is there to find? A big part of the movies is of course shot on sets in studios, and the effects are either models or computer generated, - but a big part of the movies which is suppose to take place on forreign planets, were shot in different locations around the world, - which can easily be visited. And there were a lot more places to find than I initially thought. We'll go through the movies in the chronologically order they were filmed. So the first movies we're going to look at is "Star Wars episode IV - A new hope" from 1977. In the beginning of the movie we follow R2D2 and C3PEO who escape from the ship that Darth Vader took, and land on the dessert planet Tatooine in a escape pod. Afterwards we see R2D2 and C3PEO wander around in the dessert, and the scenes were actually shot in both Tunisia and USA. We didn't visit the location in Tunisia, but we visited the one in USA. We're going to a dessert called Death Calley, which is a national park in California. A lot of scenes for Star Wars were shot in Death Valley, and we'll go through them one by one. Death Valley is quite a dessert area, so if you look for the Star Wars locations, you need to know exactly were to go. Luckily there're road that leads all the way to the locations, so there're easy to get to. The first locations is called "Mesquite flatsand Dunes" and there's a parking lot near the location, - but from there, you have to do a bit of walking through the dessert to get to the location. We've arrived on the first location of our Star Wars filming location hunt. The place is called "Mesquite Flatsand Dunes" and as you can see, it's a dessert. Unfortunately sand formations are constantly changing, and of course a lot has happened over the last 30-40 years. So it's impossible to find the exact spot of where they filmed. But luckily with help from the mountains in the background, we've managed to get close to the spot where R2D2 drives away from C3PEO. As far as I know this shot was the only one done in Death Valley. All the other shots for the scene, were done in Tunisia. And there's only sand to see in the shots, and no backgrounds to identify, like the mountains in the shot from Death Valley. So if you go to the location in Tunisia, you won't be able to recognize anything anyway, since sand formation are constantly changing, as I said. It's actually a beautiful place and there are tourist walking around taking pictures. And I don't think it's because of Star Wars, it's just a beautiful place in general. So we're off to the next place. We're going to the next location. When R2D2 drives towards the moutains, we afterwards see him go through a canyon. The scene was also shot in Death Valley, and the filming location is located 50 kilometers south-east in a place called Artist's Palette. The location is easy the find, and there's a parking right where the scene was shot. After C2PEO and R2D2 split up, we see R2D2 drive through this canyon just before he gets kidnapped by jawas. The background isn't recognizable, it's been digitally created in the movie. It's easier to recognize the background, if you compare it to the original unaltered Star Wars movie, which doesn't have the digital background. Most Star Wars fans know very well that George Lucas in 1997 released a special edition of the three original Star Wars movies. But for those who don't know the story, we'll go through it quickly. In the mid 90's George Lucas got the idea to change the Star Wars movies. It wasn't the first time they were changed. Small picture and sound changes were also done before the 90's. For example the original title of the first movie was just Star Wars, the subtitles "Episode IV - A New Hope" was added in later. But it's wasn't until the 1997 they were changed dramatically. When the digital visual effects, also called CGI, took over the film industry in the mid 90's, - George Lucas saw the need to change the original three Star Wars movies with the new digital tool. When he made the movies back then, he felt he made a lot of sacrifices with the sets and the effects not living up to his vision. And therefore he thought it was exiting to change the movies into his initial vision of what everything should look like, - which wasn't possible at the time, primarily because of money of time. So therefore in 1997 the three movies were re-released in theaters in a special edition, with a lot of digital changes and new scenes added. And the canyon were R2D2 drives through, is no exception to the changes. The shot now pans from top to bottom, and whereas the original version was just a static shot. And the extra background is digitally created, so don't look for that in Death Valley! When George Lucas started to change the movies, he continued to constantly make new changes. Every time movies have released since on DVD and Blu-ray, new changes have been made. And not only to the original trilogy. changes has also been made to the prequels. for example in "Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace" from 1999, Yoda was originally a puppet, like in the older movies, - but he has since been changes into a digital Yoda. I guess so it was consistent with Episode II and III, where Yoda is also a digital figure. The latest release of the movies is the Blu-ray collection from 2011, which I use in this video, and here new changes has also been made. The most striking changes are probably that the Ewoks in Episode VI now blinks, which they didn't do before, - and Dearth Vader now yells "NO!" when he saves Luke from the Emperor, whereas he didn't say anything in the original version. Most Star Wars fans prefer the original unaltered versions, but they are hard to get, as George Lucas wants us to love all his new changes. The only digital release of the original unaltered movies is a limited DVD release 2006, - which is still the special edition, but the original unaltered version are added as special features. That was a bit about the Star Wars changes. We're going back to where R2D2 drives through the canyon. The first shots of R2D2 going were done here at Artist's Palette, but the next shots where Jawas keep an eye on him were done elsewhere. They were also shot in Death Valley, we're only going 7 kilometers away to a bigger canyon called Golden Canyon. And there's a parking lot at the entrance of the canyon, so it's easy to get to. Even though we visited Death Valley in april month it was 40 degrees Celsius, and the air was very dry. So it's important to bring a lot of water with you, because there is a great distance between the places to buy it in Death Valley. And when you enter the 3 kilometer long Canyon, there's a sign informing you to bring a lot of water with you, - and for good reason! It was extremely hot. And I wouldn't want to be there in the summer when it gets even warmer. A temperature of 56 degree Celsius has actually been recorded here in Death Valley, which is the highest temperature ever recorded on earth. It was a challenge for find the places in the canyon where the shots were done, because the locations are scattered all over along the canyon. And many of the rockformations look alike which doesn't make it easy. We didn't find all the locations, but we found some of them. Luckily a lot of the locations looks exactly the same as they did when they shot the scene, but some of the locations has also changed a bit. This location was hard to find, because we primarily looked for the rock where a jawa is hiding under it in the movie. Today the rock is collapsed, so it's no longer possible to get under the rock like the jawa did. The next scene where R2D2 continue driving and gets kidnapped by jawas, was not shot in Death Valley, but in Tunisia, North Africa. So we're going quite further away to get to the next location. The scene of R2D2 continues in a canyon near the city Tozeur in the middle of Tunisia. Fortunately there are roads all the way out there, and it's possible to park at the entrance of the canyon. And you only need to walk about 100 meters into the canyon to get to the location. Sometimes we expect to walk far to get to the locations, but in most cases they are pretty close to the parking areas. The film crew of course had big trucks for their equipment, which were parked at the parking area. And all the equipment had to be carried out to the filming locations, and the actors also had to get out there. And in most cases they didn't go that far away from the parking areas, probably for the sake of convenience. We've now arrived in this canyon near the city Tozeur in Tunisia, and this is where the scene with R2D2 continues. The canyon looks a lot like what we saw in Death Valley, so you don't really notice the transition between the two different locations. And it's just as warm I might add! We're also not very far from civilization this time. There are small villages nearby, and there's even a building on top of the canyon. But it's right here where R2D2 drives through the canyon, in continuation of the Death Valley scene. Fortunately rock formations doesn't change much over time, so just like Death Valley, the place looks pretty much like it does in the movie. And it's over by that rock, that R2D2 gets kidnapped by jawas. When the jawas walks away with R2D2, we then in the next shot see them go to the sandcrawler. And this scene was actually not shot in Tunisia, but back in Death Valley in the USA. The scene was shot only about 200 meters from Artist's Palette, where the first shots of R2D2 driving through the canyon were done. It's actually just across the road. We're now on Artist's Drive here in Death Valley, and the sandcrawler scene were shot just behind me, where the jawas carries R2D2 onto their huge vehicle. Yeah nothing more was shot right here, so we're going back to the car. One can wonder why the production filmed in both Death Valley and in Tunisia, when there's more than 10.000 kilometers between the two places. The scenes in Tunisia where the first thing done for the movie, but because of the technical breakdowns and weather problems, - the crew didn't get everything shot within the time frame. The productions later moved to California, so the missing scenes were done as pickups in Death Valley. It was obviously easier to take a drive to Death Valley, than going all the way to Tunisia again. Anyhow they managed to find some dessert landscapes that looks pretty similar to the locations in Tunisia. The next location we're going to looks at, is the home of Luke Skywalker. In the movie he lives on Tatooine with his uncle and ant out in the dessert. The home was built as a set in Tunisia, only 50 kilometers west from the canyon, where R2D2 got kidnapped by jawas. It's not easy to find the location without precise GPS coordinates. It's located out in a dried out salt lake by the name of Chott el Djerid. There are road most of the way out there, but the last 3 kilometers you have to drive off the road, and continue driving through the dessert. since it's a dried out salt lake, the ground is hard which makes it easy to drive on, but there're no houses or civilization nearby, so you're pretty much driving blindly. But if you go in the right direction, you'll get to a fantastic sight. It's quite fantastic that this set is still standing. It's here that Luke Skywalker lives with his uncle and aunt. The set what built in 1976 for the first Star Wars movie, but is also seen in some of the following movies. It's absolutely one of the most iconic locations from the movies, even the Blu-ray collection has it on the front. Even though the set is still standing, it requires a bit of explanation. As I said the set was built in 1976 for the first Star Wars movie, and was just abandonned out here in the dessert after filming wrapped. But the set was built of wood and plaster, so after a while the set disappeared because people in the area took materials from it, and the rest got blown away over time. When they had to reuse the location for Star Wars episode II in 2000, they found the exact same location again, - because the crater in the sand they had made was still there, where it's suppose to look like Luke can look inside the home and talk with his aunt. So they rebuilt the set on the same location, and shot scenes for Star Wars episode II and III. After filming the set was once again abandonned out here here in the dessert, and like last time it was built of wood and plaster, - so the set deteriorated over the years, and was about to totally disappear like last time. But thanks to dedicated Star Wars fans, the set was restored in 2012 under the project name "Save the Lars Homestead". And that's why it's in such a great condition today! There's also a metal sign near the dome that tells about the project. So the set is not the original from the first movie, it's the rebuilt set from episode II and III, that has since been restored by fans. First time we see the home of Luke Skywalker is in episode IV - A new hope, when the jawas sell R2D2 and C3PEO to Luke's family. As I said we also see the place in episode II - Attack of the clones, when Anakin lands on Tatooine and looks for his mother with Padme. We see the place many times in episode II. In this scene Anakins says farewell to Padme, before going out searching for his mother. We see the location for the last time in the end of episode III - Revenge of the sith, when Obi-wan gives away Luke as a baby to his uncle and aunt. The interior part of the house wasn't filmed here, but I guess a lot of people are curious to what is inside the dome, so let's have a look! Well, this is it! It's all make of wood, with chicken wire on it. And then it's all covered with plaster. So it's not permanent materials. And there are greetings written all over the place from Star Wars fans around the world, so we're obviously not the first ones to find this location. It's without doubt the most unique filming location I've ever been to, and if you didn't know better, you would think you've been sucked into the Star Wars movie, - because there's nothing else around. The only thing wrong is that my car is parked over there, but you can't get out here in other ways. Behind the dome there's something which was also a part of the set. In the movie you can see what it used to look like. It was suppose to be the garage roof, and some of the set is still here. But again it's not parts from the first movie, but from the rebuilt set that was built in 2000 for episode II and III. The garage from the inside was filmed in a studio, and is featured for the first time in episode IV, - when Luke cleans up R2D2 and C3PEO, and Luke discovers the message from Leia in R2D2 for Obi-wan Kenobi. And the garage is featured again in episode II, when Anakin talks with Padme about the dead of his mother. In the movies we see a crater near the dome, where for example Luke can look inside the home and talk with his aunt. The crater is still here, and was also built for the movies, but as you can see there's nothing down there, and there has never been anything down there. It's all a film illusion. The interior part was filmed elsewhere, far from here. The home itself that Luke looks into is not a set, it was filmed in an underground hotel which is also here in Tunisia. The hotel is located 200 kilometers east from here in a village called Matmata. So we're going quite further away to get to the next location. The whole village has underground houses, so when you look for the location, you need to know exactly what hole in the ground that was used for the scenes. As you can see we're no longer in the dessert. We've arrived in a little village called Matmata. And here lies an underground hotel, where one of the sections was used as the interior part of Luke's home. And it's right here behind me. The hotel is called Sidi Driss and it's build underground to get away from the heat. There are other holes around which is also a part of the hotel. but it is exactly in this hole, the Star wars scenes where filmed. The place were redecorated for the scenes in 1976, to give it a more Star Wars style. And it was removed again after they were done filming. But when the location had to be reused in 2000, for Star Wars episode II, the decorations were rebuilt. And a lot of it is still there today, which makes the location extra fun to see for Star Wars fans. We see the location for the first time in episode IV, when Luke looks inside the home and talks with his aunt. The place has not changed much since they filmed here in 1976, And it's fun to think about that the interior part, is filmed here in Matmata, while the exterior is filmed 200 kilometers away in the dessert - At the empty crator, that represent the underground hotel, but it looks like it's filmed the same place. As i already said we also see the interior part in Star Wars episode II, and here we see a more advance scene. We see both the crater in the dessert and the hotel 200 kilometers away, in the same shot, but were the two shots are put together. When you know this i think you can tell the transition, between the two elements, the sand or dirt looks different, but it still looks great. This place is actually the hotels restaurant and luckily it's allowed to walk around and have a look. And if you want to eat in there, you can sit at the same place as Luke sits and eat with his uncle and aunt in the movie. The room almost looks exactly the same as it did in Star wars episode IV 1977, - and the painting in the ceiling wasn't done for the movie, that's just how the hotel looked like. Even though the room looks the same as in the movie, it was actually redecorated a lot over the years after filming, and the painting in the ceiling also disappeared. But thanks to a french Star Wars fan, the room was put back into its original shape in 1995 as in the movie, and the motives was painted back on. It probably also made it easier for the film crew, when they had to shoot scenes in the same room in 2000 for Star Wars episode II - Attack of the clones. And as I said, today you can dine in the room, while before this was simply a storage room. We see the place for the first time in episode IV, when Luke tells he has found a message in R2D2 for Obi-wan Kenobi. The home is also seen in Star Wars episode II, when Anakin and Padme is searching for Anakains mother. In the next moment we see them talk in the same room, where Luke dines with his uncle and aunt in the first movie, - and here Anakin learns that his mother Schmi was taken by Tusken Raiders. The home also has a kitchen seen in both episode II and IV. In the movie you can see it's suppose to be down some stairs from the room where they dine. And there's actually a room down some stairs where it's suppose to be, but it's just a storage with nothing to see in it. It's only Beru coming up of the stairs in episode II that was filmed here, - the kitchen itself in both movies was filmed in a studio in London, like the garage I talked about earlier. Back to episode IV, after R2D2 has taken off to find Obi-wan, Luke and C3PEO search for him in Luke's landspeeder. The scenes were shot in both Tunisia and Death Valley. In this shot, some sandpeople look at Luke and C3PEO in the landspeeder, and this shot was done in Tunisia, in the same canyon where R2D2 gets kidnapped by jawas. But the next shots when they mount their banthas and ride away, were done in Death Valley. So we're going back to Death Valley in USA. The scene was shot in Desolation canyon, which is between Artist's Palette and Golden Canyon, - where some of the shots of R2D2 driving through the canyon were done. You can park pretty close to the location, but from there, you have to walk for about 1 kilometer to get there. We've arrived on the location where the sandpeople have their batha animals, I don't know this wasn't filmed in Tunisia like the rest of the scene, - but I guess it was difficult to get the animals to Tunisia. The bantha in really an elephant in a costume, and they actually only had one elephant for the filming in Death Valley, - so when Luke sees the two bathas through his binoculars, it's actually two shots of the same elephant put together. We're off to the next location. Luke and C3PEO find R2D2, and this scenes was shot back in Tunisia, in the same canyon where R2D2 gets kidnapped by jawas. It was shot only about 200 meters further in the canyon from the other location. We're back in the same canyon where R2D2 gets kidnapped by jawas.