Unless you live a TV and internet-free lifestyle, you're probably at least aware that Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters last December. The latest installment in the epic space saga has brought tears to the eyes of virtually every sci-fi nerd in the galaxy.
One of our favorite things about the movie was the exciting new locations that join the Star Wars universe. Instead of returning to Tatooine or Coruscant, The Force Awakens introduces five new planets that we'd love to visit. Since we don't have access to the Millennium Falcon or an X-wing fighter, we decided to find comparable locations in Chicago.
Starkiller Base is Chicago City Hall
The evil First Order takes up residence in Starkiller Base, a snow-covered planet that has been turned into a galactic super-weapon that draws its energy from nearby stars. The seat of Chicago’s government in the Loop isn’t quite as sinister, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his cronies do have a habit of sucking up tax money and allocating it to expensive public works projects, such as the Riverwalk and the DePaul basketball arena. Resistance fighters frequently congregate outside (and inside) City Hall, protesting the injustices that the local government has brought upon our fair city. We would like nothing more than to turn Kylo Rahm from the Dark Side to the Light. —Zach Long
Jakku is Northwest Indiana
Jakkku, the desert-like planet that resembles Tatooine from the previous Star Wars movies, is where the audience is first introduced to Rey, one of the main characters in The Force Awakens. Like Jakku, Northwest Indiana contains a huge stretch of sand dunes (the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore park runs along the southern shore of Lake Michigan for nearly 25 miles). Furthermore, Jakku is a planet filled with scavengers and is mostly lawless. Northwest Indiana isn’t too different. The area, and state overall, has low taxes and is notoriously lax on gun control. It’s filled with people who commute to Chicago, just outside the reach of tax hikes and regulations imposed by City Hall and Springfield. —Clayton Guse
D’Quar is Humboldt Park
Here’s what we know about the planet of D’Quar: It’s the home base of the good guys (the Resistance) and boasts some beautiful grassy fields. To find a comparable spot in Chicago, you need to take a trip to one of the city’s verdant green spaces, such as Humboldt Park. We suggest visiting in the summer, when the grass is green, the lagoons are swimming with fish and various celebrations take place throughout the outdoor space. There aren’t any X-Wing fighters here, but you can see a vintage boathouse where residents used to store their water crafts. —ZL
Takodana is Bridgeport
A tucked away, forested planet that houses a legendary bar named after a slightly eccentric matriarch? That sure sounds like Bridgeport to us. In many ways, Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar serves as the neighborhood’s central gathering point, attracting people from all walks of life to share great beer. The bar is named after Maria Marszewski, who opened the slashie in 1986 and ran the place until 2010, when her sons Ed and Mike took the reigns. Who knows what kind of ancient artifacts are hidden in the basement? —ZL
Hosnian Prime is Hyde Park
Hosnian Prime is the planet where the New Republic has established its government in the 30 years since the events of Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi transpired. It’s a home to people who believe in democracy and resent the ideology of the menacing First Order. Hyde Park, which is home to the University of Chicago, is filled with liberal intellectuals who tend to be irked by the decisions made by Rahm and his predecessors. If a revolution were to ever take place in Chicago, it probably wouldn’t come directly out of Hyde Park. But the neighborhood would certainly throw all of its support behind a movement that makes Chicago a more just and egalitarian city. —CG