Four years ago I visited Whippendell Wood in Watford which was used in ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace‘ to portray the forest of Naboo. Back then I was fairly satisfied with my visit but heavy snow in the area meant that it looked more like the remote ice planet of Hoth! As a result, I was keen to return one day and see it in its more normal setting. However, there was still a light frost on the ground but with a bit of Winter sunshine there was actually some greenery to be seen. Continue reading
A lot of my time in Seville was spent at Plaza de Espana which is a semi-circular open place featuring ceramic tile buildings, a fountain, bridges and a canal. This place was my first port of call for the main reason that it was used for about 30 seconds in ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones’ when Anakin and Padme followed by R2D2 arrive on Naboo and walk to the Queen’s palace. It was also used in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and played the part of ‘Cairo’ officers’ club. CGI was used in the Star Wars film to add domes, modify buildings, alter towers and mirror the whole place to create an oval.
First impressions as I entered the site were of disappointment that parts of it were like a building site which often seems to be the case when visiting tourist hotspots. They are seemingly always under construction! Thankfully, that was only near the entrance and although the canal was dirty it wasn’t really noticeable as I wandered round the place. Although it was a bit run-down and decrepit in parts it really was a beautiful place and I am quite surprised that it features so little in the guidebooks on Seville. There were basically only three parts of the plaza used by the Star Wars film crew (only two made the final edit – all three can be seen in the first couple of minutes of this video) and they included the fountain, one of the bridges and the undercover rim of the plaza. Having used my R2D2 figure in Tunisia I couldn’t resist the idea of using it in a few photo’s at the Plaza. What luck that I just happened to have it in my bag!!
You can see all my Seville photo’s here.
*** You can see Star Wars Traveller – Naboo (a.k.a. Caserta) here
*** You can see Star Wars Traveller – Tatooine (a.k.a. Tozeur) here
*** You can see Star Wars Traveller – Tatooine (a.k.a. Matmata) here
*** You can see Star Wars Traveller – Tatooine (a.k.a. The Ksours) here
*** You can see Star Wars Traveller – Tatooine (a.k.a. Djerba) here
The very first thing I did on my first day in Italy was take an 8am Eurostar train for 28 Euro’s from Rome Termini station to Caserta which is 25 kilometres north of Naples. I had intended to get the 6.27 local train but arrived just a few minutes before and without knowledge of how to get a ticket or which platform to go to I decided to not risk it. Ironically, I still got there earlier than I would have but at three times the price! The reason for this journey was to visit Caserta Palace which is luckily opposite the station and was used as Queen Amidala’s Royal Palace in Naboo in Star Wars Episodes I and II as well as filling in for the inside of the Vatican in Mission Impossible III and more recently Angels and Demons. Having done my research before the trip it really was quite a sight to see those stairs and the huge window that appeared in the Star Wars prequels. I had a quick look around the palace and as impressive and beautiful as it was I just wasn’t that interested in any of the exhibits and pictures on display. However, the palace gardens were very nice and just stretched on for ages and ages as I found to my cost when I walked them in the mid-morning sunshine thinking the end fountain was much closer than it was. With the need to move on and visit Pompeii later that day I took the shuttle bus back to the palace. Back at the station I had to endure Italian inefficiency and poor service as the machines weren’t working and so I had to queue up at the one window that was open just to get a ticket the short distance to Napoli.
You can see my Italia ’09 photos here.