1977 Star Wars scenes filmed in Tikal temple site, Guatemala

The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal are seen December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Mike McDonald
“The ruins of the Maya temples of the ancient city of Tikal are seen December 14, 2012.” REUTERS/Mike McDonald

I read an article from Reuters entitled, “Maya apocalypse and Star Wars collide in Guatemalan temple.”

Deep inside the Guatemalan rainforest stand the ruins of the Maya temples that George Lucas used to film the planet Yavin 4 in the movie “Star Wars,” from where Skywalker and his sidekick Han Solo launched their attack on the Galactic Empire’s giant space station.

According to the article, this temple site in the heart of Guatemalan rain forest  is a tourist draw for both Mayan culture seekers and Star Wars enthusiasts.

Discovered in 1848 when locals unearthed human skulls whose teeth were studded with jade jewels, Tikal draws tourists from around the globe. Visitors this week said they felt a powerful presence in the blue skies above them.

George Lucas first saw the Maya temple site on the cover of a travel poster.

Lucas chose Tikal when he saw a poster of the site at a travel agency in England during the production of the original “Episode IV: A New Hope” film, and sent a crew to Guatemala in March 1977 to shoot during its 36-year civil war.

Various Tikal structures were also featured in the 1979 film,”Moonraker.”

 

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