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Feel the Force

The force is strong where Obi Wan, Anakin, Padme, C3PO and R2-D2 once trekked. Movies like The Empire Strikes Back, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were filmed in some of the most scenic spots, and owe their cinematic beauty to Guatemala, Italy, Spain and Norway.

We don’t need to look out into the night sky to feel the force Yoda and Obi Wan speak of. In fact, a trip to Hoth, the sixth planet of a remote system covered in 100% snow and ice, isn’t a whole galaxy away. Finse, Norway, is in fact the planet Hoth. Finse, is covered in ice and surrounded by glaciers. The highest railway station also sits here. In the winter, Finse is popular for cross-country skiing, sail skiing, expedition and Red Cross training. In the summer, enjoy walking the glaciers or take your bike out for a ride.

The desert world of Tatooine is home to Anakin Skywalker as well as his son Luke. The desert land and “Lars family homestead” were both filmed in Tunisia, North Africa. Tunisia covers part of the Sahara Desert and lies along the Mediterranean Sea. It was within the dune sea that C3PO shuffled past a Krayt dragon skeleton. Past la Grand Dune, a stall selling gypsum flowers will point you to the igloo-shaped Lars homestead made of wood and fiberglass. The home of Uncle Owen and Aunt B in Attack of the Clones was also shot in Tunisia. The Sidi Driss Hotel is a series of caves cut into the earth. The hotel uses the traditional style of homes in the area and bathrooms are shared. The pit style architecture keeps the temperature comfortable all through the year.

Yavin 4, one of three moons orbiting giant Yavin, is covered in jungle and forest. From a top the Mayan Temple in Guatemala, the rainforest canopy shot in Attack of the Clones is seen here. The tops of other temples can also be seen here. The Tikal National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the famous Temples, labeled 1 to 6. Temple 1 is known as the Temple of the Great Jaguar and is the largest structure in Tikal. Remains of royal palaces and smaller pyramids and palaces can also be found here.

Naboo’s Theed Palace is home to Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace and was shot at the Palazzo Reale in Caserta, Italy. Nearby, the stunning Lake Como adds to the visual eye candy. The lake is surrounded by villas with admirable gardens and terraces that look out into the beautiful lake. Most celebrity guests vacation at the Villa d’Este, with landscaped gardens reflecting the English style of the 1500s.

The Plaza de España in Seville framed the beautiful bridges Anakin and Padme crossed. The place reveals Moorish architecture shaped in a half-circle with bridges making it accessible over the moat. At the heart of the Plaza sits a large fountain. Government buildings, including El Ayuntamiento, are housed here. A great way to appreciate the view is by drifting along the moat on a rowing boat.

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