Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
First of our close encounters with other worlds is Tunisia, where the desert doubles up as the barren planet Tatooine in the film. Onk Jemal is where a lightsaber duel between Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Sith apprentice Darth Maul, takes place. The best way to explore the dunes today (if you don’t have a landspeeder handy) is to whisk around on a 4X4 tour.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Across to the other side of the Mediterranean for a touch of romance now, to the site of Anakin and Padme’s wedding scene in Attack of the Clones. The grand venue is the eighteenth-century Villa del Balbianello on the wooded western shores of Lake Como in the north of Italy, which spectacularly stands in for the Naboo lakeside. This is surely the ultimate setting for similarly besotted Star Wars fans to get married. Eagle eyed film buffs might also recognise the villa from the Bond movie, Casino Royale.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
When famously volatile Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily erupted during the filming of Revenge of the Sith it was too good an opportunity for the Star Wars producers to miss. A crew was dispatched to film the spectacular eruptions and lava flows. The footage captured was enhanced with CGI and all sorts of visual trickery to create the scorching backdrop of the planet Mustafar. This was the setting for the lightsaber showdown between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
Star Wars (1977)
We’re off in our X-Wing across the Atlantic to the dramatic environs of Death Valley in the USA. This famous corner of California stood in for a number of Tatooine scenes, with the sand-strewn wilderness of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes a real star. A key scene here sees the our favourite droids fall out as R2D2 breaks away from C3P0 after their escape pod crashes. Take your own models here and you can film your own version with the identical desert backdrop. Embarrassingly poor droid impressions are strictly optional.
Zabriskie Point at dusk, Death Valley National Park, © California Anna Morgan/Shutterstock