Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, 2002

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visit the film locations

Tunisia: Airports: International flights to Habib Bourguiba International Airport, Monastir

Tourist info Tourism Tunisia

Specialist tours: Panorama Tunisia Experience specialists in Tunisian holidays (based in the UK)

Seville: Flights: San Pablo Airport

Tourism: Andalucia; Seville

The Plaza de España stands in Maria Luisa Park, just east of the city centre

Como: Flights: Milan, Linate or Malpensa airports

Como is approximately 40 miles north of Milan on the A9 Motorway (remember that there are tolls to pay). From Como, drive about 15 miles north on the 340 along Lake Como's western shore, to the village of Lenno. The Villa del Balbianello is a short walk from the village. (gardens admission €5) Tuesdays and Thursdays to Saturdays. The villa itself can be toured by prior arrangement, tel: 034456110)


Trivia

Seville’s elaborate Plaza de España doubled for ‘Cairo’ in David Lean's classic Lawrence of Arabia

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Anakin and Padme on Naboo: Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

Episode II of the Star Wars saga boasts a couple of the series' most seductive locations, in Italy and Spain.

Yes, of course we were all disappointed that there's so little of the delightful Jar Jar Binks but, apart from that, Clones is a vast improvement over The Phantom Menace.

George Lucas began a retreat into the Fox Studios in Sydney, New South Wales, where much of the film was shot against green screen.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Sidi Driss Hotel, Matmata, Tunisia

Star Wars Episode II: the ‘Tatooine’ homestead: Sidi Driss Hotel, Matmata, Tunisia

But first the team returned to some familiar locations: once again 'Tatooine' is represented by the desert landscapes and native architecture of Tunisia, where the original Star Wars (now Episode IV: A New Hope) and Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It's a return to the Sidi Driss Hotel, Matmata for the interior of the 'Tatooine' homestead. The exterior was a set built on the Chott el Jerid near Nefta.

And the Palazzo Reale in Caserta, near Naples, Italy, again becomes the interior of ‘‘Theed Palace’ on ‘Naboo’ (see The Phantom Menace for details). The Palazzo was more recently seen as ‘The Vatican’ in Ron Howard’s film of Angels And Demons.

This time around, though, the exterior (which was entirely computer-generated in The Phantom Menace) is the Palaçio Español, a semi-circular arcaded building in the Plaza de España, Seville, built for the 1929 Spanish-American exhibition. The Palaçio Español is largely empty and, when I visited, a bit dilapidated, though there was evidence of restoration work.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Anakin and Padme walk in the palace grounds: Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

In the Plaza itself you'll find the canal, crossed by elegant 'Venetian' bridges over which Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padme (Natalie Portman) walk.

You may remember the pillared colonnade as the ‘Cairo’ hotel, where TE Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) ruffles the feathers of the British officers by demanding lemonade for his Arab companion, in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia.

As the 70s generation of ‘movie brats’, including George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, are such fans of David Lean, it's difficult to dismiss this as mere coincidence (Spielberg, similarly, revisits a David Lean location in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).

More recently, the Plaza de España became the presidential palace of ‘Wadiya’ in Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, The Dictator.

The stunning lake retreat is on Lake Como in northern Italy near the Swiss border. The summer palace is Villa del Balbianello, near the village of Lenno, about 15 miles north of the town of Como on the lake’s western shore. The villa, with its unique loggia commanding views north and south, stands on the tip of a steep, wooded promontory.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, northern Italy

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: The Lake Country retreat: Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, northern Italy

It is open to the public. You reach the villa by boat from Lenno or nearby Sala Comacina. On Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays it’s possible to walk from Lenno. It’s about 15 minutes, and quite steep, from the southern end of the bay or from the wooded path leading up from Via Degli Artigiani, at the southern end of Lenno.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, northern Italy

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film location: The Lake Country retreat: Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, northern Italy

The villa crops up again in the new version of Casino Royale, as the sanatorium at which James Bond (Daniel Craig) recuperates after his torture by Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen).




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