Is This Real Life, or Am I in a Movie?

Star Wars may seem like a galaxy far, far away, it’s actually a lot closer than you think.

By Megan Smith


Although the world of Star Wars may seem like a galaxy far, far away, it’s actually a lot closer than you think. Whether you’re looking for an area such as the dry, barren Tatooine desert, or the sanctuary of the Endor forest, you can find them right here in the United States.

Scenes for the Tatooine desert were filmed in Death Valley National Park. With sand dunes spreading across both California and Nevada, there’s a little something for everyone. Death Valley does sound pretty daunting, however it is anything but. There is so much to explore while you camp beneath the stars, including just taking the time to experience the breathtaking, undisturbed view of the Milky Way.


If you’re not feeling a calling to camp under the stars, there are plenty of historic hotels much nicer to stay in then the garbage compactor room on the Death Star. With the varying landscape that Death Valley National Park holds, it is very easy to see why George Lucas chose this as one of the amazing locations to help create his Star Wars Universe.

If you’re not the desert-type, there are plenty of other locations that you can view as well. Located along the northern coast of California, you will find the Redwood National and State Parks, which was the location chosen to portray the dense forest home of the Ewoks. The forest moon of Endor is a world that is covered with high trees that reach as high as you can see. Instead of creating a world full of computerized graphics, George chose the location filled with real redwoods that do seem to reach to the stars.


There are many activities to enjoy throughout the Redwood National and State parks, including horseback riding and mountain biking. However, if you’re looking for something a little less strenuous, you always can take a hike through the forest, and revel in the majestic beauty and peacefulness that surrounds you. This of course is a little slower then riding a speeder bike but it is a lot easier to enjoy the sights when you aren’t being chased by The Republic. Once you’re done exploring, you can take the time to enjoy a quick picnic before heading back to the real world, known as Earth.

Visiting either of these places may make you feel as though you’re on another planet in a galaxy far, far away, but in reality, you’re just in your own backyard.


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