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Google Earth

Star Wars stories

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.

Sandcrawler Model Photo Correction

Star Wars stories
Hi All,

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.
Peterson's book gives the original model filming site as a dry lakebed near Randsburg, California.

I hope this helps solve one mystery,


Colin's Finse trip part 2 - April 2007

Star Wars stories
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

Star Wars fan celebrates 30th Anniversary

Star Wars stories
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,
Ian Anthony

Star Wars trek: Redwoods - June 2001

Star Wars stories

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.

Read More.
Smith River pictures.
Owen Cheatham Grove pictures.

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Star Wars trek: Bay Area and Marin County - March 2001

Star Wars stories

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.

Read more.
See all pictures.
See satelite photos.

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Star Wars trek: Modesto - March 2001

Star Wars stories

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.

Read more.
See all pictures.

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Jeroen's Guide To Como

Star Wars stories
Jeroen Swanborn sent in a great report on the Lake Como area that is now available. Thirteen seperate filming and behind-the-scenes locations are covered. There were a couple of posts in the forum recently about these scenes, so hopefully this will answer everyones questions. Jeroen, thank you very much for sending this in and sharing your adventure with us.

Jeroen's Guide To Como Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Colin's Finse trip - March 2006

Star Wars stories
My first interest in visiting in visiting Finse was probably a remark by Damien on the first Trip To Tatooine back in 2003. At the hotel Marhala on the Isle of Jerba he casually remarked that after the trip he was off to Norway to visit Finse. I have to admit that impressed me a little to just take off to Norway like that. Of course I had seen the tiny amount about Finse on the ToysRGus traveller web site, but it had never occurred to me to make the trip. I imagined it was just a snowfield, very uninspiring and nothing compared to Tunisia, plus I wasn't that familiar with the film. Then I remembered an earlier feature in the Star Wars Insider magazine, the writer made the actual locations seem difficult to find as if you needed insider knowledge about where the filming actually took place. Plus the photos were taken during the snow melt, so it looked a little less like Hoth. I still needed something more to make me want to go.

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Colin's Canyon Quiz

Star Wars stories
How well do you know the location known as Star Wars Canyon? Test your observation skills in this mini photo-quiz.

Star Wars Canyon has been visited numerous times by Lucas, Spielberg et al and has been seen on movie screens around the world. But what does it look like in one large panoramic view and can you recognize your favourite scenes from a different angle?

Originally this was written as a Christmas Quiz for my Star Wars friends, but I have been persuaded to throw it open to the wider fan community. This quiz is based on observations on a number of visits to the canyon at Sidi Bouhlel over an 8 year period. I’m not claiming this as an exhaustive list as there are probably one or two scenes that have escaped my attention, maybe you could leave some feedback about those.

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