The Star Wars Universe is so richly detailed that it's easy to picture yourself in it. But how cool would it be to actually take a trip... to Tatooine, maybe? Or perhaps the balmy forests of Endor appeal to you more. Either way, you don't need hyper drive to visit these not-so-far-far-away Stars Wars filming locations right here in America... any old car will do. Here's your guide to intergalactic travel, without leaving the country.
THE FOREST MOON OF ENDOR
Aww, Ewoks! As you explore the lush greenery of the forests of Redwood State and National Parks, you might half expect to see a few of the fierce, yet adorably cuddly creatures pop out of the shadows and from behind giant trees.
THE DESERTS OF TATOOINE
While it's true that most of the Tatooine scenes were filmed in Tunisia, bits and pieces were filmed in this notoriously desolate National Park and spliced in with footage from Tunisia.
GREAT PIT OF CARKOON
Alright, so visiting a sarlacc pit isn't exactly most people's idea of a great vacation, but if you've got the force on your side, you should be able to escape the galaxy's largest sarlacc-- if you can get past how utterly gross it looks. In the movie, the sarlacc is located in a giant Tattooine sand hollow called the Great Pit of Carkoon-- in real life, it's actually Buttercup Valley in the Yuma Desert.
BONUS: Other Star Wars-themed spots across the country
When a contest was held in the 1980's to have kids help choose designs for decorative grotesques to add to the National Cathedral, it probably didn't come as a surprise that one of the entries was Darth Vader's iconic mask... but shockingly enough, it won the third-place prize and was placed on the north tower of the building. You'll need binoculars to really see it... cue the Imperial March.
It took Star Wars superfan Steve Sansweet over 35 years to amass the world's most insane collection of Star Wars... well, everything, and it was around that time that he decided that he ought to put his gold mine of treasure on display. He calls it "Rancho Obi-Wan". Hardcore fans can drool over movie props and rare action figures, while lesser avid enthusiasts can enjoy learning about how and why Star Wars became so wildly popular. Plus, Sansweet actually worked for Lucasfilm, so you know this place is the real deal!
Since we mentioned Darth Vader, we probably ought to include a good guy on the list as well. You can find this tribute to Yoda, the most memorable Jedi master outside Lucasfilms HQ in the Presidio of San Francisco. As Yoda would put it, "Take many pictures, you should!" Oh, and if you're extra nice to the guard, you can check out the Boba Fett and Darth Vader on display inside as well.