Is Star Wars: Episode VIII Turning Dubrovnik Into a Famous Planet from the Prequels?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 1:52PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 1:52PM
Is Star Wars: Episode VIII Turning Dubrovnik Into a Famous Planet from the Prequels?
As we all now know Star Wars: Episode VIII is officially in production as Rian Johnson and his LucasFilm team work their way towards the movie's 2017 release date. And, while studio production will be based out of the UK's Pinewood Studios, Star Wars: Episode VIII will also be shooting in various locations across the globe, including a return to Ireland's Skellig Michael and the dramatic wilderness of Iceland. 

Another exotic location on Episode VIII's itinerary is that of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The historic walled city is a popular tourist destination for those visiting the Mediterranean, but its Medieval architecture also lends itself perfectly to creating atmospheric set, an attribute recognized by HBO's Game of Thrones, which used the city as the basis for King's Landing. Now though, Rian Johnson and his production crew have descended upon the walled city, and they're busy turning it's ancient walls into the beginnings of a bustling alien city.


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(Credit: Dubrovnik Times)


Of course, there's no telling which planet Dubrovnik is being turned into at this early stage, but the last two images above look remarkably reminiscent of a planet we've already visited before.

In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, much of the action takes place in and around the Royal Palace of Naboo. Back in the late 1990's, LucasFilm used the Royal Palace in Caserta, Italy as the core of its Naboo set, but it could well be that Dubrovnik has been lined up as a cheaper, more convenient alternative. 


As you can see in the image above, the streets of Naboo's city of Theed share many similarities with the work being carried out in Dubrovnik. Could it be that Episode VIII will return to the home planet of Emperor Palpatine?

A return to Naboo would raise a lot of questions, but it would actually make quite a lot of sense. Palpatine wasn't the only Star Wars legend to hail from the planet, and it's perfectly reasonable to imagine Luke and/or Leia traveling there in search of answers about the lighter half of their heritage. In fact, we've already seen Leia return to Naboo in Marvel's post-Return of the Jedi series, Star Wars: Shattered Empire, where she visited the palace and had a force vision of everyone's favorite Sith, Darth Maul. This at the very least shows that LucasFilm are still happy to return to already established worlds, and could lend more credence to the idea that we'll be seeing more of Naboo in the future.

Of course, another possibility is that we see Kylo Ren travel to Naboo in a quest for more insight into his idol, Darth Vader. Anakin Skywalker's time on Naboo was not significant, but the planet's links to Palpatine could make it of interest to Kylo as he seeks to emulate his grandfather. Hmmm, the more we think about this, the more we start to see a return to Naboo as a real possibility.
Science Fiction
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Star Wars
Star Wars: Episode VIII

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