A new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer and poster have just been released, leaving fans brimming with a number of gloriously geeky questions – where is Luke? Where are Princess Leia’s cinnamon scroll braids? How come Chewbacca’s hair is shinier than mine?
The film is merely months away from its Australian debut (mark December 17 on your calendars), and apart from a few teasers, trailers, and now this poster, many of the film’s secrets have remained firmly under wraps. We’re getting itchy with anticipation, but thanks to IMDB, we’ve been able to fuel our excitement by gathering up a few of the movie’s reported filming locations.
So, where on earth do you find places that can double for alien planets in a galaxy far, far away?
#1 Mývatn, Iceland
The active volcanic region of Mývatn in northern Iceland is an ideal vision of otherworldliness. The entire landscape has been shaped by a volcano that erupted 2300 years ago, spilling basaltic lava that created the strange lakes, craters and pillars that exist today. Could this double as the volcanic world of Sullust?
#2 Krafla Volcano, Iceland
Also in Iceland’s Mývatn region, the Krafla is an 818-metre high volcano that has a crater filled with an eerie green lake. Definitely extraterrestrial material. The surrounding geothermal area is also home to boiling mudpools and steaming gas vents from the earth.
#3 Skellig Michael, Ireland
It was confirmed a year ago that Star Wars: The Force Awakens had hired the beautiful island of Skellig Michael (or Sceilg Mhichíl), off the west coast of Ireland, for three days of filming. During this time, the location was closed off to other visitors. The craggy green island is tiny, unpopulated and dramatic as hell. It’s not yet known which planet Skellig Michael will represent but we reckon the force is strong there.
#4 Isle of Skye, Scotland
UK newspaper The Sun reported that the latest episode of Star Wars would be shot in the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. An unnamed source allegedly said, ““Location bosses feel Scotland possesses stunning scenery perfect for movie backdrops. They will look great on the big screen and the rock formations will replicate the perception of mountainous planets.” The beginning of another alien blockbuster, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, was also filmed here.
#5 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Desert scenes in Abu Dhabi were the very first scenes filmed for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Rub’ al Khali desert, just two hours outside of the city, featured heavily in the first teaser trailer that was released in November 2014. Rub’ al Khali is the largest sand desert on earth and its name literally means “Empty Quarter”.
#6 RAF Station Greenham Common, England
In what is possibly one of the best anecdotes ever, the Royal Air Force Station Greenham Common was revealed as a filming location after a pilot accidentally captured pictures of a spacecraft from above. He was taking pictures to promote a flying school. Oops!
#7 Forest of Dean, England
Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean is home to knotty pathways, mossy rocks and ancient trees. It’s also home to a bunch of cables that the Star Wars film crew left behind in 2014, betraying the covertness of their top-secret filming location. It’s rumoured that the area called Puzzlewood in the ancient woods will double as the forested moon of Endor, the home of everyone’s fave alien species, Ewoks.