Where did Star Wars film in California?

California was featured in two of the original trilogy’s films: A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.

The following is a breakdown of the scenes filmed within the state

Episode IV: A New Hope

The majority of footage for Tatooine was filmed in Tunisia. However, due to production costs and other last minute needs like Mardji the elephant, there were several scenes filmed in Death Valley National Park to splice with the Tunisia footage.

These Death Valley scenes include the following locations and the exact moments they appeared in Star Wars: A New Hope in order of appearance:

  • Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes – R2D2 goes separate ways from C3PO
  • Artist Palette & Golden Canyon – Jawas attack R2D2
  • Artist’s Drive – R2D2 is being carried up to the Sandcrawler
  • Desolation Canyon – Tusken Raiders mount a Bantha
  • Dante’s View – looking out at Mos Eisley

    R2D2 Separate Way

    These sand dunes can be seen for a brief moment after R2D2 goes his separate way from C3PO following their crash landing on Tatooine.

    Mesquite Flat Dunes

    Roughly two miles east of Stovepipe Wells, CA, 92328. There's a parking lot to park in off of Hwy. 190.

    R2D2 Travels Through Canyon

    As R2D2 travels alone through the canyon, he’s abducted by Jawas. Most of the scenes for R2’s traveling was shot in this canyon.

    Golden Canyon Trailhead

    Map of Golden Canyon Trailhead off of Badwater Rd., Furnace Creek, CA, 92328.

    R2D2 carried up to Sandcrawler

    This is where R2D2 is being carried up to the Sandcrawler by the Jawas that captured him.

    Artist's Drive and Artist's Palette

    Map of Artist's Drive and Artist's Palette. Furnace Creek, CA, 92328.

    Tusken Raiders mount a Bantha

    Tusken Raiders are mounting a Bantha to go attack Luke Skywalker as he looks for R2D2 who's searching for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    Desolation Canyon

    Desolation Canyon is located off Badwater Rd., just south of Golden Canyon.

    Distant view of Mos Eisley

    Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker look out at Mos Eisley in a distance.

    Dante's View

    Dante's View is located of Dantes View Rd.. There's a public bathroom and a large parking area.

    Episode IV: Return of the Jedi

    As with A New Hope, George Lucas returned to Death Valley National Park to film a few scenes for Episode IV: Return of the Jedi.  

    • Twenty Mule Team Canyon – Scenes of R2D2 and C3PO heading to Jabba’s Palace.
    • Twenty Mule Team Road – A closed cave was once used for a deleted scene in ROTJ. No longer accessible to the public.
    • Del Norte County – Scenes from Endor were shot throughout various Redwood locations on private land and in parks like Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. All of the scenes shot on private land are no longer recognizable.

      R2D2 and C3PO head to Jabba's Palace

      Scenes of R2D2 and C3PO heading to Jabba’s Palace. There's also a deleted scene from ROTJ where Luke is fixing his ligthsaber in a cave. This cave was closed and no longer accessible to public.

      Twenty Mule Team Canyon

      Map of Twenty Mule Team Canyon and the road with the same name. This was the route where teams used to transport borax out of Death Valley

      Endor Speeder Bike Chase

      Scenes from Endor were shot throughout various Redwood locations on private land and in parks like Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. All of the scenes shot on private land are no longer recognizable.

      Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park

      16949 CA-36, Carlotta, CA 95528

      What things can Star Wars fans do in California?

      In addition to visiting Star Wars’ filming locations, fans can also enjoy many other thrilling Star Wars experiences throughout California:

      Hollywood Walk of Fame

      Star Wars fans can walk among the stars as they stroll down Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame. Several of Star Wars’ most beloved figures have been honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Fans can go view these stars at the following locations:

      • Mark Hamill – 6834 Hollywood Boulevard
      • Harrison Ford – 6801 Hollywood Boulevard
      • Alec Guinness – 1559 Vine Street
      • Billy Dee Williams – 1521 Vine Street



      Grauman's Chinese Theatre

      Located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd., along the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre not only shows Star Wars films when they’re released, but it also has famous handprints and footprints of Star Wars personalities like: Harrison Ford, R2D2, C3PO and Darth Vader. 

      Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland

      Star Wars enthusiasts can spend the day at Disneyland and enjoy the popular attraction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This Disney spectacle features a simulator ride on the Millennium Falcon, the Rise of the Resistance dark ride that takes you through a battle between the First Order and the Resistance, shops, dining and much more. 


      Rancho Obi-Wan

      Located just west of Petaluma, CA, is Rancho Obi-Wan home of arguably the world’s greatest memorabilia collection of the film franchise. Star Wars fans can tour this collection and learn about the history of this franchise in a unique and authentic experience. 

      Yoda Fountain at Lucasfilms LDAC

      Star Wars fans can visit one of two famous Yoda monuments built in California. This Yoda tribute is a fountain at the entrance to the Lucasfilms Letterman Digital Arts in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park. 

      As mentioned above, fans can visit Imagination Park in San Anselmo and feel the power of The Force’s birthplace. 

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