Picture yourself on the terrace of a lavish lakeside villa. The sun is setting over misty mountains in the distance, lighting up the face of the beautiful woman by your side. She gazes into your eyes and lovingly embraces your cold steely hand. Sound familiar? It should. It’s the ending to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, when Padmé Amidala secretly marries the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, the groom sporting some serious bling in the form of a brand-new robotic arm. While the story of this galactic power couple is pure science fiction, the romantic setting is actually a real place, right here on Earth, and it’s an enchanting spot to bring your own bride—even if she doesn’t really feel the force. In fact, many of the exotic locations featured in the Star Wars films would make for an otherworldly honeymoon without all the travel hassles of making the Kessel run. Trust your feelings young padawan (or trust us), and seek out one of these scenic locales from a galaxy that’s actually not too far, far away.
Rebel in the Guatemalan JungleTikal, Guatemala
“Take me somewhere tropical,” she said. Well, it doesn’t get more tropical than an actual rainforest. The jungle surrounding Tikal, Guatemala, is known for its lush scenery and its intriguing Mayan ruins, which you’ll recognize as the setting for a secret rebel base in the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). Don’t worry, though, you and the missus will not be sleeping in some crumbling old stone temple. More gracious accommodations are available at Las Lagunas, a stylish boutique hotel located on a 300-acre nature preserve in nearby Flores. When you’re ready to explore, the hotel can hook you up with a tour of Tikal National Park to check out the ancient Mayan city, or a boat ride over to “Monkey Island,” where you can hang out with long-tailed spider monkeys. Let’s face it: those cute little tree-climbers are way more interesting than any space alien that Lucas could ever dream up.
Attack a Clone-worthy Lake Retreat in ItalyLake Como, Italia
Make your own “Lake Country” memories at Lake Como, about an hour drive from Milan. With its crystal-clear waters, charming architecture, and breathtaking views of the Alps, this popular Italian vacation spot provides the gorgeous backdrop for many scenes in Attack of the Clones (2002). Most hotels in the area have that long-time-ago look, which is fitting for Star Wars, but newcomer Il Sereno is a modern bride’s dream, featuring water view suites with big voyeuristic windows, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a luxurious spa. While you’re there, take a ferry over to Villa del Balbianello, a former Franciscan monastery and site of the wedding scene from Clones. Head to the terrace for an epic honeymoon selfie to the envy of all your nerdiest friends back home.
Return to the Forests of Northern CaliforniaNorthern California, Californie, United States
You promised her the moon. You just didn’t tell her which one. Consider the forest moon of Endor—er, more precisely, the majestic redwood forests of Northern California, where much of filming for Return of the Jedi (1983) took place. If your gal is a nature lover, she’s really gonna dig it here. The area boasts all sorts of wildlife, like mountain lions and black bears (no Ewoks, though, sadly), and outdoorsy activities aplenty, from hiking and horseback riding to zip-lining. Make your base at the eco-friendly Redwood Riverwalk Hotel just off Highway 101 in Fortuna, and plan a picnic at nearby Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, site of Jedi’s famous speeder-bike chase. Sadly, you cannot rent your own speeder bikes for the afternoon. Park rules!
Awaken Your Inner Jedi in IrelandIreland
The Ring of Kerry only sounds like something from the movies. Actually, it’s a picturesque swath of southwestern Ireland with beaches, golf courses, hiking trails, medieval ruins, and a pair of rocky islands known as the Skelligs. The larger, pyramid-shaped isle, Skellig Michael, features prominently in The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017) as (spoiler alert) the secluded hideout for hero Luke Skywalker. Your personal hideaway, however, is the historic Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville. It’s where Luke himself (actor Mark Hamill) stayed during filming. The hotel offers regular boat trips to the Skelligs, among other offshore activities like surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Hand-pulling fresh milk from local wildlife like Luke does in the film is not advised, but there’s always whiskey. This is Ireland, after all.
Plot a Rogue Mission to the MaldivesMaldives
Stargazing is a wondrous experience, whether you’re a sci-fi fan or not. Perhaps no place on Earth offers better views of the twinkling heavens than the Maldives. This tropical archipelago is located right near the equator, so at night you can see the stars from both hemispheres. It’s also home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world, including the sandy palm-lined battlefield from Rogue One (2016). At Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, you can get the full island experience. Chillax on the resort’s private beach or snorkel through gorgeous coral reefs. You can also dine in an underwater restaurant and sip cocktails under the stars at the resort’s overwater observatory.
Erupt Like the Sith in SicilyMount Etna, Sicily
Fun fact: volcanic activity set the stage for all life on Earth. How poetic, then, to start your new life together in the shadow of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Sicily’s Mount Etna conveniently erupted during filming for Revenge of the Sith (2005), allowing Star Wars creator George Lucas to incorporate footage of actual lava flows into the movie’s climactic lightsaber-battle scene. It erupts so frequently that Excursions Etna organizes special eruption tours (check the company’s website for updates). You can also plan with the precision of the Empire and enjoy the view from the luxurious Hotel Villa Carlotta in nearby Taormina. The volcano is visible from the panoramic rooftop restaurant, the posh pool area, and in some cases, the balcony of your own suite.
Freeze in Iceland (Without the Carbonite)Reykjavík, Iceland
Adventure? Excitement? A true Jedi might not crave these things, but the most daring honeymooners certainly do. They’ll find it all in Iceland. The tiny Nordic island nation boasts an incredibly diverse landscape of mountains, glaciers, hot springs, and black volcanic sands. In wintertime, you can even see the Northern Lights. With all that cinematic beauty, it’s no surprise that multiple scenes from Rogue One and The Force Awakens were filmed here. You can stay in the center of it all at Hotel Borg in Reykjavik, which offers both luxe urban accommodations and easy access to the natural wonders outside the city. The hotel organizes all sorts of day tours, from ice climbing and glacier hiking to whale watching and dry-suit snorkeling. It’s no Hoth (that’s actually in Norway) but at least you won’t have to sleep inside a Tauntaun sleeping bag.