Star Wars: The Force Awakens filmed in the Lake District

We first got a glimpse of the Lake District in Star Wars: The Force Awakens official trailer back in Spring, but it wasn’t until the films release on 17th December 2015, that we saw the full beauty of Lake District portrayed as an alien landscape.

Ben, aka 'Finn', Berry
Ben, aka ‘Finn’, Berry at Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening night

Perhaps during the film’s original release in 1977 all known human life-form underwent a telepathic genetic mutation that meant henceforth and forever more, all offspring were destined to become Star War’s fanatics. What else could explain the unprecedented cross-generation demand for tickets to the eagerly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Ben Berry, from English Lakes support office, would not have been anywhere else but at the cinema on release night and then again on the following evening! Yes, of course he did have a hankering to walk in the shoes of Finn, First Order conscript gone AWOL (the clue’s in the costume!), but Ben has also been following the making of the film which features T-70 x-wing fighters and First Order special forces Tie Fighters lighting up the skies of the Lake District.

Catbells over Derwentwater, the Lake District National Park - location for Star Wars scenes
Catbells over Derwentwater, the Lake District National Park – location for Star Wars scenes

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is arguably the best Star Wars film made and its box office results will speak to that. It brings fresh life into the saga with new characters bringing chemistry we haven’t seen since the originals. Having the film produced in Great Britain and a second act based around a Lake District location is fantastic, not just for fans but for the country as a whole. Going in to the film we knew the Lake District would feature but I was astounded at how much and that they were able to capture its beauty, despite featuring a battle between the sinister First Order and the Resistance.

In the film, when Rey, newest hero of Star Wars, arrives in our Lake District landscape for the first time she exclaims, “I didn’t know there was so much green in the whole galaxy” – a sentiment that we believe many of our visitors to The Lake District can relate to.

Local photographer, Colin Bell, has done an excellent piece of research, identifying the exact locations of the various scenes from the films.

Thirlmere, the Lake District National Park - location for Star Wars scenes
Thirlmere, the Lake District National Park – location for Star Wars scenes

Another fiendishly-fixated Star Wars local is Colin Hill, organiser of The Chill Swim at Low Wood Bay. Here he is, dressed as the new Dark Lord Kylo Ren for opening night. Colin has been heard to say that he will swim all of the precise Lake District locations.

Lake District Film Location’s

Of course, Cumbria and Lancashire are no strangers to the filming of box office movies. Going back to 1947,  Alfred Hitchcox The Paradine Case starring Gregory Peck; Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser in Swallows and Amazons in 1974 with a re-make due for release in Summer 2016; more recently, Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger and in 2012 Snow White and the Huntsmen. David Lean’s classic Brief Encounters, shot at Carnforth Station in Lancashire, is one of the most popular British films of all times. We welcomed Christopher Nolan to The Midland in Morecambe when he dropped in to check out Morecambe Bay as a potential backdrop for some of the Interstellar scenes. Sadly, on that occasion we were just pipped by a less tidal location in Iceland.

Ben would also like to draw your attention to Sasquatch, an independent British comedy filmed in the Lake District, starring John Murtagh. It’s about two young men who trick a community into believing Big Foot lives in the area. If you look carefully, you should be able to spot Ben alongside the actors – but without the Star Wars costume!

Beautiful UK Film locations

Looking for beautiful or breathtaking film locations in the UK or want to visit iconic film location set in the Lake District? English Lakes has three venues in the heart of the Lake District and two hotels in North Lancashire.

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