20 Star Wars locations you can visit in real life

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Laamu Atoll, Maldives

Perhaps Cumbria isn’t quite glamorous enough for you, or the English weather doesn’t particularly appeal. Fortunately for you, the Rogue One director decided to take a large part of his movie to warmer climes, setting the planet of Scarif somewhere far more interesting than a lakeside village.

The real-life location of Scarif, the research center ruled over by Director Orson Krennic and home to the plans for the Death Star, can be found in Gan, one of Laamu Atoll’s 82 Maldivian Islands. The Maldives is comprised of 1,192 coral islands, and Gan is one of the largest, with bright blue seas and white sands that led Edwards to describe the setting simply as “paradise.”

Edwards chose the Maldives as his location for Scarif after noticing that the films had been set almost everywhere but the Pacific. “World War Two, obviously, was a big influence on Star Wars and George took footage from WW2 movies to construct the dogfights,” he told aintitcool.com.

"Looking at all that and then looking at the South Pacific and thinking he’s pretty much used every ecosystem idea you could have. You’re running out of planet ideas. You’ve got your desert planet, your ice planet… This idea of a tropical island-like look felt like paradise and was a really good contrast to A New Hope."

It certainly does feel different to any other planet we’ve seen so far, and no doubt that contributes to the standalone feeling Rogue One has. It also makes the film properly feel like an expansion of this cinematic universe we’ve come to love.

The idyllic setting also makes it an easy place to visit. So don your best Krennic cape and have a paddle in the sea. The beauty we’re dealing with here is immeasurable.