Canary Wharf is the Death Star
‘I have a very bad feeling about this.’
In ‘Star Wars’, the Death Star is the absolute heart of darkness: a vast steel structure with the power to destroy an entire planet, where the drones of the evil empire busy about on devious errands. To be fair, Canary Wharf does differ in one key aspect: it has a Wetherspoons. And you almost definitely can’t blow the whole thing up with a single laser shot.
The DLR is the Millennium Falcon
‘Would it help if I got out and pushed?’
How did our heroes arrive at the Death Star? In a creaky, rusting bucket of bolts that might have been on the cutting edge a few decades ago, but is now clearly ready to rattle apart. Still, it’s fun to sit at the front and pretend you’re about to zoom into hyperspace.
Hampstead Heath is Endor
‘The rebels have been routed and they’re fleeing into the woods.’
In ‘Return of the Jedi’ our heroes find themselves on the forest moon of Endor, a verdant jungle thick with trees and populated by tribes of knee-high squeaky creatures who are supposed to be cute but just end up getting on everyone’s nerves. Sadly, little Casper’s mini-scooter doesn’t explode when he rams it into a tree.
Camden is Mos Eisley
‘You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.’
In ‘Star Wars’, the spaceport of Mos Eisley has bounty hunters, rogue pilots and stormtrooper patrols. In London, Camden Town has wispy Italian goths, ageing Saxon roadies and ill-tempered bobbies. Yet somehow, the vibe is exactly the same. Just don’t try taking your droid into the World’s End. Their kind don’t get served in there.
The MI6 Building is the Jedi Council
‘Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.’
Forget the Galactic Senate just over the river: this is where the real power lies, in a dimly lit steel-and-glass chamber filled with rarely glimpsed, quasimystical manipulators who grow increasingly out of touch with reality as the centuries crawl by.
Chelsea is Cloud City
‘You truly belong here with us, among the clouds.’
In ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, our heroes travel to a floating city of wide streets and whitewashed walls, where everyone is beautiful, well-dressed and – as it turns out – in league with evil. Cloud City is the only place in the galaxy you can imagine people wearing Ugg boots, and everyone on the King’s Road is already dressed like Lando Calrissian.
Stringfellows is Jabba’s Palace
‘You’re going to regret this.’
In the palace of the grotesque Jabba the Hutt, the music is loud, the drinks are lurid and the scantily clad dancing girls cosy up with all manner of shadowy life forms.
Oxford Street is the Asteroid Field
‘The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to one.’
Foreign bodies come flying towards you at seemingly impossible speeds. You duck and you swerve, but sooner or later one of them is going to crash into you.
Staines is Hoth
‘I don’t pick up any life readings.’
When the rebels are looking for a place to hide from the Imperial forces, they pick the most remote, barren rock they can find. If you choose to lie low in the grey nothing that is Staines, you can be sure no one is going to come looking for you.
Hackney Wick is Dagobah
‘Mudhole? Slimy? My home this is!’
On the fringes of the galaxy lies the planet Dagobah, an overgrown swamp riddled with murky, non-human life. It’s the last place you’d go to find a Jedi master – but every creep you meet reckons he is one.
More from a galaxy far, far away...
They can be intensely heroic or irretrievably evil. They can be alluringly human or repulsively alien. Remote and robotic or cuddly and cute. But the characters in ‘Star Wars’ are endlessly fascinating. So here, in an entirely personal and inevitably controversial list, Time Out’s resident Gonk-geek Tom Huddleston presents the 50 best ‘Star Wars’ characters, in order of greatness.