Star Wars Filming Locations In The Arctic Circle
May the fourth be with you. Every year, on May 4th, Star Wars fans from around the globe celebrate the successful sci-fi franchise. Part of the magic of Star Wars is seeing the diverse range of landscapes displayed across the various planets. It may come as a surprise to know that some of the franchise’s most memorable scenes for ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ were filmed within the Arctic Circle. To mark Star Wars Day, we’ve comprised a list of some of the Arctic Circle destinations used that you can experience for yourself.
Hardangerjøkulen Glacier, Norway
In 1980, the Hardangerjøkulen glacier of Norway became the filming location for scenes on the icy planet of Hoth, which featured in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. It was here that the towering, four-legged AT-ATs (All Terrain Armored Transport) of the Imperial Army was led by General Maximillian Veers in a bid to knock out the shield generator of the Echo Base. In an exciting battle, the Rebel Alliance came out victorious after toppling the AT-ATs by wrapping a cable around their legs and essentially tripping them up.
The Hardangerjøkulen glacier is Norway’s sixth largest glacier and its desolate landscape makes it the perfect backdrop for the icy planet of Hoth. Its highest point stands at 1,863 metres above sea level and its thickest possible section is 380 metres across, although it has gradually gotten thinner throughout the 20th century. If you would like to experience this iconic glacier for yourself, it is accessible via the Bergensbanen railway line, which operates journeys out of the city of Bergen.
The most recent addition to the Star Wars franchise, ‘The Force Awakens’, saw locations across Iceland used as backdrops. In the film, the Resistance is made aware of the Starkiller Base, which may appear to look similar to the Death Star but is actually far bigger in size and possesses far superior destroying capabilities. However, unlike the Death Star, the Starkiller Base was positioned on an unknown and remote ice planet.
Many of the scenes for the icy Starkiller Base were filmed in Iceland, including the ice cap of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. In addition to this, more remote destinations in northern Iceland were also used during filming, including areas around the Krafla Volcano and the Myvata Lakes. These locations formed the backdrop for an exciting battle between the X-Wings of the Resistance and the TIE Fighters of the First Order.
Both these countries are home to an array of mesmerising natural wonders, many of which are accessible via our Norway and Iceland expeditions. If you would like to experience these spectacular countries which are now home to fictional Star Wars destinations, along with many more fascinating landmarks, get in touch with our friendly team today.