Everybody knows that Star Wars takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and the latest entry in the series — The Last Jedi — is no exception to that rule. And while the film's story may take place on far off exotic planets, it was of course filmed here on Earth, but exactly where was Star Wars: The Last Jedi filmed? What terrestrial locale could possibly be otherworldly enough to pass for a foreign planet?
The Last Jedi was filmed at a number of places, and since this is a special effects-heavy sci-fi movie, a good number of scenes were shot on a soundstage at Pinewood Studios in London. The legendary studio has long been the home of the James Bond movies, and in recent years has become somewhat of a base of operations for Disney, who have filmed a number of Marvel movies there, as well as other films like Maleficent and Cinderella. And, it should be mentioned, The Force Awakens and Rogue One also filmed scenes there. But in addition to the work done in a studio in England, The Last Jedi also went on location to two countries in particular that contributed to some of the film's most stunning vistas.
The first nation of note is Ireland. Hardcore Star Wars fans likely already know that the Emerald Isle's gorgeous island Skellig Michael, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, appeared at the end of The Force Awakens. It will have a much more prominent role in The Last Jedi, as it is the spot of the ancient Jedi temple where Luke Skywalker is hiding out — and where he will train Rey in the new film. The actual island, which looks like a mountain rising from the sea, has its own connection to ancient religion, as it is the home of a sixth century monastery devoted to the Archangel Michael, according to Huffpo's Carol Kuruvilla.
Other Irish locales served as filming spots for the film, but the scenes filmed there are shrouded in secrecy. Most notable is Malin Head in County Donegal, which is the most northern point on the island of Ireland. The area is filled with rocky cliffs that drop dramatically into the sea, and rumors are rampant that the secret scenes filmed there revolve around the Millennium Falcon, which was seen perched atop one of the cliffs, according to the BBC. The BBC also states that a Jedi temple set was constructed at Ceann Sibeal in County Kerry, at the southern end of the country.
The other country that plays a significant role in the setting of The Last Jedi is Croatia. The Adriatic nation's popular city, Dubrovnik, should already be familiar to many sci-fi and fantasy fans as the stand-in for Game of Thrones' King's Landing, with the city's iconic red rooftops becoming widely associated with the fictional home of the Iron Throne. But The Last Jedi is set to turn Dubrovnik into a different type of city altogether, with the already picturesque locale transforming into the glamorous casino city Canto Bight, according to Making Star Wars. Star Wars' version of Las Vegas is one of the most anticipated aspects of The Last Jedi for many fans, and seeing how it differs from GoT's King's Landing should add an extra element of fun for fans of both franchises.
Now, for any fans hoping to see these locations in person, you're in luck. Travel company Zicasso has put together Star Wars-inspired tours of both Ireland and Croatia. The Croatian tour features Dubrovnik prominently, among other points of interest, while the Irish tour features Skellig Michael, Malin Head, and a stay at a castle in Donegal where members of the cast and crew stayed during filming.
So apparently, a galaxy far, far away isn't really that far away after all.