#StarWarsDay: The force is strong at these filming locations in Asia
STAR WARS is arguably the biggest film franchise of our time, or rather, of all time. Or at least one of the biggest.
So big, it even has a day dedicated it and its cult following – May 4.
From film studios to real-life destinations, multiple global locations were used for filming during the production of the Star Wars trilogies and spin-offs because the films needed to portray alien planet settings.
Sand dunes and deserts, lush green forests, limestone karst mountains, airship sheds, snowy plains, and pristine beaches were all part of the franchise’s cinematography, resulting in an almost believable fantasy universe.
Here are some beautiful Asian destinations that breathed life into the Star Wars films:
Jordan: Wadi Rum
In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, otherwise more simply known as Rogue One, the dramatic sandy landscape of Jordan’s Wadi Rum was prominently featured.
Its sandstone formations and expanses of tangerine sand were considered the perfect stand-in for the fictional moon of Jedha, a spiritual home of the Jedi.
Wadi Rum was also picked as a planet Mars stand-in for the Matt Damon-starring The Martian.
This location earned the Royal Film Commission – Jordan the Location Managers Guild Award for best Film Commission in 2017.
China: Guilin / Thailand: Phuket
Guilin, which means “forest of Sweet Osmanthus”, is one of China’s most picturesque cities.
Home to a large number of fragrant sweet osmanthus trees, it has been said that its scenery is “the finest under heaven”.
No actual filming took place in Guilin but images of the lush world were taken and later combined with Phuket in Thailand for backdrops of the planet Kashyyyk in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
For the uninitiated, planet Kashyyyk is the homeland of everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca.
Maldives: Laamu Atoll
In Rogue One, the beautiful but scary planet Scarif was located in a beautiful real-life Maldives location, Laamu Atoll.
Located in the South of Maldives, Laamu Atoll is reachable by a 35-minute domestic flight from the capital. It is unique for not only its pristine beaches but also its remaining Buddhist archaeological sites.
In Rogue One, planet Scarif is a tropical paradise enveloped in impenetrable reflector shields and heavily defended by the Imperial military.
It was where Jyn Erso led a rebel squad in battling it out for the Death Star plans.
United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi
Although Tunisia was initially in the cinematography plans for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams chose the Abu Dhabi desert of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) instead.
Its rolling dunes and large, uninterrupted sand mass made it the perfect setting for planet Jakku, home to thieves, outlaws, scavengers, and main character Rey.
After Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, Abu Dhabi announced plans to use some remains of the sets as a tourist attraction.
The capital was also the filming locations for blockbusters Fast & Furious 7 and The Bourne Legacy.