Star Wars trek: Death Valley - April 2001
Sunday, September 23 2007 @ 02:14 AM PDT
Contributed by: Admin
The Star Wars Road Trip article in Star Wars Insider back in 1999 got a lot of people interested in Star Wars filming locations. For those of us in California it also made a trip to one of these locations much more feasible. You didn't have to travel thousands of miles to Tunisia or Norway. There are great places right here in our backyard and the best one has to be Death Valley. There are quite a few locations to see there and most are very easy to find. You can even do the trip in a day if you get there early, but its best to stay a night at a hotel or camp out.
There are already lots of great articles and webpages detailing trips to Death Valley.
The original Star Wars Insider article written by Scott Chernoff and David West Reynolds that started it all.
Tatooine or Bust I and II by Kolby "Kahunna" Kirk
SWFO's Western U.S. Quest by Carl Cunningham
SWFans in Death Valley by Brandon Alinger
Google Earth - Death Valley locations are included
|R2's Sand dunes|
Just past Stovepipe Wells is where you'll find the sand dunes. You need to walk in a little until the shot lines up right. The key is lining up the small peaks in the mountains to the right of R2.
This location is easy to miss since the mountains you are trying to line up are behind you. Stop a little before the turn off for Artist's Palette and walk around a little on the left side of the rode. You should be able to line up the 3 mountains in the background of the frame.
Artist's Palette is very easy to find. Just follow the one-way loop on Artist's Drive and the location is very clearly marked. Then park and walk up to the sign and look left. If you walk into the entrance of the canyon a little you can also find some other angles that were filmed.
After the end of Artist's Drive make a right, back towards Furnace Creek. Not too far on the right is a small turn off for Desolation Canyon. The film crew didn't go to far into the canyon since they had all of their gear and an elephant dressed up like a Bantha. There are lots of different angles filmed here so bring lots of screenshots and take your time lining them up. The trick is to look for unique looking rocks, erosion patterns, and mountain peaks.
|Mos Eisley Overlook|
Dantes View is a major attraction in Death Valley and easy to find. It is a little farther out of the way then the rest of the locations but just follow the signs and you'll be there before you know it,
|Jabba's Palace Road|
On the way to or the way back from Dantes View drive down the dirt road for Twenty Mule Team Canyon. About a quarter of the way through, the mountain in the background will start lining up. You can even see the opening to a Borax mine shaft in one of screenshots which helps line things up.
These scenes are hard to find exactly because the background is blurry and out of focus. Plus I've can't remember ever seeing any behind the scenes photos from the Landspeeder pickup shots. They're somewhere along either West Side Highway or Salt Pool Road though.