20 Star Wars locations you can visit in real life

9 of 21

Death Valley National Park, USA

Think we’ve already covered Tatooine? Think again.

Death Valley in the US, not just Tunisia, played the Skywalker’s ancestral home in A New Hope.

According to StarWars.com, George Lucas picked Death Valley to “film some leftover pick-up shots that weren’t filmed in Tunisia due to difficulties they had encountered there.”

For example, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes provided the backdrop to the scene where R2D2 and C3P0 split up after their crash on Tatooine, having just escaped the clutches of Darth Vader.

You also might recognize Desolation Canyon as the place we see the Tusken Raiders and their bantha, whilst Dante’s View provides the exterior shot of Mos Eisley, viewed by Luke and Obi-Wan from afar (extremely afar, given that Alec Guinness and Mark Hamill filmed their part in this in Tunisia).

Is it us or do all the place names sound Star Wars-ian already? Death Valley does seem a shoe-in for playing a planet. The VisitTheUSA website says:

"According to the U.S. National Park Service, Death Valley was submerged beneath an inland sea during the Pleistocene Epoch. The sea eventually evaporated and left behind a land that is stark and surreal, monumental and mystifying — in other words, an ideal filming location."

Be careful though, as hiking is not recommended during the hotter months. Death Valley is enormous, remote and the surrounding mountains trap heat, as pointed out by VisitTheUSA. Getting stranded in such high heats is incredibly dangerous, so do plan accordingly.