Star Wars has introduced fans to many locations over the years, each more unique than the next. The original trilogy took us to desert, ice and forest worlds, the prequels showed off hustling and bustling places while the sequel trilogy has showed off a mixture of the two. The spin-offs, as well, have showed off alternative places in the galaxy.
With that in mind we now take a look at every Star Wars movie and pick the best location from every one, explaining why these places have been given the nod over others within their respective blockbusters.
10 A New Hope: Tatooine
We’re going to go through the Star Wars movies by order of release date, which means we’re beginning with A New Hope. Released in 1977 it was the movie that paved the way for the future success of the franchise with fans immediately enchanted by the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and co rescuing Princess Leia Organa from the evil Empire.
Within the story it takes us to Tatooine - and how it stands out. Mos Eisley, in particular, is majestic, showing off a place where the galaxy’s riff raff come to gather. Seeing aliens drinking with each other in a bar was revolutionary for its time period and the location was so popular it was brought back for other movies down the line.
9 The Empire Strikes Back: Cloud City
The Empire Strikes Back introduces the setting of Cloud City, where Han Solo is encased in carbonite, C3PO gets smashed to pieces and Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader face off in an enthralling lightsaber duel.
And the setting is now regarded as among the most iconic within the series. With its orange sunset, it is beautiful to look at and the fact it’s a fully-functioning, populated place despite being placed above the clouds was an awesome idea. What also helps it rank so highly on the list is the fact it was the backdrop for arguably the biggest showdown in Hollywood history, with Vader and Luke’s showdown one of the franchise’s peak moments.
8 Return Of the Jedi: Endor
We’d seen desert planets, icy planets and cities in the sky before the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983. But the final chapter of the original trilogy then showed off the forest moon of Endor, where the Rebel Alliance travel to amid their fight against the Empire.
It’s not any old wooded area, either, with the place populated by Ewoks. Ewoks initially looked as if they were going to be another obstacle to the Rebels but, when Leia Organa befriends one of them, they’re able to team up and work in tandem against the enemy. There’s also whispers the planet may appear again when The Rise of Skywalker comes out this winter.
7 The Phantom Menace: Naboo
George Lucas wanted to take risks regarding the prequels and show Star Wars in a whole new light. And, regardless of whether or not you liked all three movies, there’s no denying that he upped the ante when it came to both the locations and how they would look.
Which brings us to Naboo, the picture-esque planet that looks like it was modeled straight from Italy. With it’s blue skies and beautiful aesthetic, it’s instantly memorable and looks as if it would be an ideal holiday location. Not only that but it’s also the setting for the movie’s final act, where Qui-Gon Jinn And Obi-Wan Kenobi face off against Darth Maul while Jar Jar Binks, Padme Amidala and co fight battle droids.
6 Attack Of The Clones: Geonosis
Not deterred by the criticism of his use of CGI for The Phantom Menace, George Lucas raised the stakes higher when Attack of the Clones released in theatres across the globe in 2002. And the blockbuster introduces us to Geonosis.
It’s a savage place, one that appears to not be made for humanity’s finest people. It has a droid factory - something we’d never seen before - and a stunning gladiatorial arena where Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala avoid death by the skin of their teeth. Throw in the fact it’s aesthetically pleasing and it just edges out Kamino as being the best setting of the movie.
5 Revenge Of The Sith: Mustafar
Revenge of the Sith was always going to need a big arena in which to pit Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi up against each other in. And thankfully the movie delivers with the lava planet of Mustafar providing a fitting backdrop for the biggest moment of the entire trilogy.
With it’s unstable nature and fiery, red hot atmosphere it’s a place that symbolises the emotions of Anakin as he continues his slide to the dark side by wiping out the Separatist movement, choking his wife Padme Amidala and attempting to murder his old master. It’s little wonder, then, that he would later choose to build his castle there with the place also featuring in 2016’s Rogue One.
4 The Force Awakens: Takodana
Disney was always going to try and make fans feel nostalgic when they acquired the rights to Star Wars and released The Force Awakens four years ago. And they basically created their own version of Mos Eisley in the form of Takodana, where it appears to be where the galaxy’s worst criminals congregate.
But the reason we like it so much is that, besides being easy on the eye, it’s also where some of the movies’ best scenes take place. Rey has her force vision there, Finn acquires Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber, Kylo Ren shows off his strength with the force and we also meet the quirky, loveable Maz Kanata. With mysteries lingering over Maz, we’re not ruling out seeing it again later this year.
3 Rogue One: Scarif
We’d never seen a beach planet before the release of Rogue One in 2016 but, in that movie, we get transported to the planet of Scarif. And it takes your breath away, a feast for the eyes with its bright and sunny setting, a stark contrast to the darkness of the mission Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and co embark on to destroy the Death Star plans.
Two moments stand out in particular. The gorgeous visuals as Orson Krennic realises the Death Star, a haunting image of doom amid a beautiful backdrop, is about to end his life. And the glow of the space station’s super weapon as it closes in on a tired, albeit victorious, Cassian and Jyn. Like most sunny places, we hope to return there one day...
2 The Last Jedi: Crait
Compared to the previous movies in the franchise, The Last Jedi was underwhelming when it came to locations. Canto Bight was a nice idea but the scenes that took place there left much to be desired, while D’Qar was barely in the movie. That means that, almost by default, Crait gets the nod.
That said, it’s white and red theme makes it distinctive to anything that’s come before it. It’s arguably the most beautiful planet of the lot with the showdown between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker something right up their with the very best cinematography that Star Wars has to offer.
1 Solo: Kessel
Like The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story isn’t exactly the best when it comes to locations. However, it’s silver lining is the planet of Kessel, where Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and Qi’Ra all make their stand amid their determination to deliver for Crimson Dawn kingpin Dryden Vos.
The planet is unlike anything we’ve seen before and is where the better aspects of the movie take place. Lando’s colourful yellow cape compliments it well, while it’s also where L3-37 - a character so annoying they’ve drawn comparisons with Jar Jar Binks - meets their end. For that alone it ranks as the best location of the film.