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Darth Vader Star Wars

Six London locations with ‘Star Wars’ history

Think Star Wars is out of this world? Think again. You barely have to leave Zone 6 to visit these Star Wars-related sites

By Ian Freer
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We scoured the galaxy – well, Greater London – for half a dozen locations that have helped make the ‘Star Wars’ franchise what it is. Pack your virtual Oyster card and join our tour de Force...

Esmond Court, Kensington

1. Esmond Court, Kensington

Carrie Fisher lived in Esmond Court, just off Kensington High Street, during the shoot for ‘Episode IV’ in 1976. As documented in Fisher’s must-read memoir ‘The Princess Diarist’, it was the backdrop for the biggest affair in the galaxy between her and Harrison Ford. ‘I love you’/‘I know’ was practically made in Chelsea.

Industrial Light & Magic, Star Wars

2. Industrial Light & Magic, Holborn

Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects company founded by George Lucas, opened a facility right in the heart of London’s West End in 2014. Shoppers walking by with overstuffed John Lewis bags must be completely unaware that Kylo Ren’s broadsaber and those plucky Porgs are being rendered inside.

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Pinewood Studios

3. Pinewood Studios

‘Star Wars’ has mostly been made near to the capital. The original trilogy was shot at Elstree Studios, now the home of ‘EastEnders’ (‘That’s no Alfie Moon, it’s a space station’), ‘Episode I’ made a base at Leavesden, and Pinewood is the current home. ‘Star Wars’ is so London suburbs, it could grumble about train fare hikes.

London Voices Choir

4. The London Voices Choir, Abbey Road

Perhaps the best thing to come out of the prequels – John Williams’s ‘Duel of the Fates’ from ‘Episode I’ – derives its power from the choral wallop of the London Voices Choir. ‘Duel of the Fates’ has also played at two other London landmarks: Spurs ran out to it at White Hart Lane and now at Wembley Stadium.

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Dominion Theatre

5. The Dominion Theatre

The West End playhouse is the spiritual home of ‘Star Wars’ in the UK. ‘Episode IV’ opened in London on December 27, 1977, seven months after the US release. For four weeks, fans could only see it there and at the Leicester Square Theatre (later the Odeon West End). Touts were flogging £2.20 tickets for a whopping £30.

Canary Wharf tube station

6. Canary Wharf tube

Canary Wharf station doubled as an Imperial base in ‘Rogue One’. Director Gareth Edwards had made a sci-fi short, ‘Factory Farmed’, in Docklands and knew the space-aged tube stop well. The crew started filming at midnight and had to wrap by 4am. For one night only, a galaxy far, far away was in Zone 2.

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