One of my big disappointments in my 1999 Star Wars trek was not finding the right spot at Whippendell Woods. We managed to find the woods but ended up just walking by all of the filming locations. I guess we never guessed how hard it was going to be to find one specific tree in the middle of the forest. Plus the pond that they swam into in the movie doesn’t really exist and we had walked about an hour looking for it before finally coming out at Cassiobury Park and realizing that we were never going to find it. So when a friend of mine said he was going to London for some autograph hunting I jumped at the chance to join him and take another crack at Whippendell Woods.
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.
Tikal National Park in Guatemala was used for a small scene showing the rebel base on the jungle moon of Yavin 4 in Star Wars: A New Hope. It is an easy location to find and a very popular tourist destination but I don't think very many Star Wars location hunters make the trip. I probably would have never made it myself but it turns out my wife is from Guatemala and I found out she had never visited Tikal so we planned a little side trip after visiting family.
This is my first attempt at creating a Google Earth KML file. It includes locations from Star Wars and George Lucas' life. Please leave a comment if check it out and I'd really appreciate any feedback you might have. I have some ideas for updating the file in the future also. I'd like to add more information to the descriptions and use html to include links and images. If you have any corrections or suggestions, let me know.
Thanks to everyone that helped contribute parts of this file. Colin Kenworthy for Tunisia, Norway, and the U.K. Jeroen Swanborn for Italy (Lake Como). Mike and Angela Rush for Whippendell Woods. Their input made this whole project possible. Thanks again.
UPDATE: You can find the most up to date KML file on the World Map page.
This is my first post in the week that I've known about this web site. You all are doing a bang-up job documenting SW sites! My hat is off to you!
Anyway, on the left are 2 sandcrawler model pictures on the site.
|My impression is that they've been posted so that the mountains can be used to locate where the sandcrawler model was shot. However, as some of you might already know, the picture is useless as a location guide. Since nobody has commented on it yet (as far as I can tell), I'll tell you why:
According to the book "Sculpting a Galaxy" by ILM sfx guru Lorne Peterson (pp. 76-78), that scene was shot for the 1997 Special Edition version of ANH. It was done on the roof of ILM in northern California. The mountains are fakes sculpted just for the scene. It actually replaces real scenery in this shot below.
|Colin Kenworthy recently returned from his second trip to Finse and sent in a GPS map and a Google Earth KML file of the Hoth locations. He was traveling with a large group headed by Mark Dermul and a film crew for The Force Among Us being made by Cristian Macht. Mark's site covers the trip really well so you can read more about it there. Plus, The Force Among Us is available for pre-order and should have some great footage of the Finse and Tunisia locations.
Heading for Hoth - Mark Dermul
The Force Among Us - Cristian Macht
Google Earth KML file - Finse, Norway
|I am a Star Wars fan in Toronto, Canada.
Last week, I visited San Francisco. As I am sure you know, Star Wars was screened for a test audience at the Northpoint Theatre in San Francisco on May 1, 1977. The Northpoint is no longer a theatre, and the building currently serves as office space for Viz Media, a Japanese Animation company. The exterior is the same, however.
I visited the site on May 1, 2007 - the 30th Anniversary Day of the pre-premiere screening. As far as I can tell, I was the only SW fan at the location; and certainly the only one there at 10:00am, which is when the screening began in 1977.
Here are some photos for you to see.
With Best Regards,
My search for Ewok country had some mixed results. First I hit a homerun at Owen R Cheatham Grove in Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. I only had a vague mention to this place but the park ranger knew exactly what I was talking about and directed me to the right spot. Unfortunately I didn't have that many reference pictures with me for this area but lots of things looked familiar as soon as I started walking around the well-marked nature path. I struck out at my next stop in Smith River. I knew this one would be hard since it was on private property and the area had been logged since the original filming took place. Plus I didn't have an exact address which would have really helped. Still, its a beautiful area and I'm glad I visited.
It's widely known that Lucas considers himself to be more of an independent filmmaker and prefers to live and work up north in the Bay Area and Marin County. A lot of events from his life have happened in this area. And it is only a 2-hour drive from where he was born in Modesto. I tried to find some of the bigger ones but I was only searching in the area for a day. Someone who actually lives out there would probably have a better time finding the more obscure locations and I have included all of my notes in case you want to try.
It seemed to be my mission in 2001 to track down all things Lucas and that wouldn't be complete without first visiting where it all began, Modesto, California. I actually went to High School nearby in Hilmar and lived 20 minutes away in Turlock for several years but never bothered tracking any of these spots down until after I moved away. My parents were still in the area so it seemed perfect to pay them a visit and ride around a little looking for these places.