‘Star Wars Episode VIII’: Inside Dubrovnik and Other Filming Locations
“Star Wars” fans have been dreaming of traveling to a galaxy far, far, away ever since “A New Hope” debuted nearly 40 years ago. Though fans can't actually visit their favorite fictional Star Wars destinations such as Endor or Hoth, they can make pilgrimages to the real-life locales that inspired those far-off planets. Now, as Episode VIII begins production, we're finally getting a look at what's next for the “Star Wars” franchise, and what new travel destinations fans can look forward to exploring.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” began filming on Stradun in Dubrovnik, Croatia last week. With the shoot taking place on the city's main street, patient fans have been able to capture some epic set videos, and photos, that are now leaking online, and Dubrovnik is hoping all of that online traffic translates into tourism dollars. So far, it's working. StarWarsDubrovnik.com has already interviewed several die-hard fans who traveled to Dubrovnik to catch some of the action and they weren't disappointed. The street was used for flying stuntmen, chase scenes and provided a first look at a slew of brand new aliens.
Once the landspeeder explosions were cleaned up on Stradun, filming moved to the mega yacht Sea Star, where a mix of space dignitaries and aliens enjoyed a swanky cocktail party. The "Event Ship" is available for events and transport throughout the east Adriatic coast so we wouldn't be surprised if the yacht became a favorite venue for Star Wars-themed events, conventions and maybe even a wedding or two in the future.
Dubrovnik isn't the only new location being added to the Star Wars universe. Episode VIII crews have already scouted the caves and grottoes in the districts of Iztapalapa and Tláhuac, located just outside of Mexico City. The production hasn't made a commitment to shoot in Mexico yet, but officials have confirmed filming will take place in at least two different areas of Ireland.
In May, filming will move to Ceann Sibéal, located on the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, for two weeks. According to RTE, contractors are already setting up a roadway to shuttle equipment back and forth from the remote locale. It is believed the site will be used as Ahch-To, where Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, will train as a Jedi.
In addition to Ceann Sibéal, crews have already filmed on Skellig Michael. Anyone who saw The Force Awakens (and who hasn't?) is already familiar with the remote island. This is where we finally see Luke Skywalker, and where Episode VIII is expected to pick up. "I can’t believe they let us shoot there,” director J.J. Abrams said of the site in a promotional video. “I mean, it was so beautiful.”
Fans have already started flocking to Portmagee, a nearby village that hosted the movie's cast and crew during filming on Skellig Michael. The Moorings, a local hotel, is embracing the boom by offering a two-night Star Wars package that includes a t-shirt and the "inside story of the making of the Star Wars movie."
No matter where else “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is filmed, we can be sure of one thing: the fans will definitely follow.
More by Christine Bord
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