Naboo – Seville, Spain.
The breathtaking Plaza de Espana, built in historic style by Anibel Gonzalz out of brick and ceramics.
Sarah and I went to Seville on the 12th September 2003 for a long weekend.
We stayed in a fantastic 2 star hotel in the historic Santa Cruz district close to the main attractions.
Unfortunately the weekend we decided to visit some two hundred odd extreme snow boarders also descended, building a huge ski jump in the middle of the Plaza and ensuring security kept the general public at a safe distance – I was not amused!
Anyhow I got some photos of the structure and the intricate archways; I just hoped it would be cleared before we left for home in a couple of day’s time.
Luckily it was (semi-cleared) and we were able to take a walk round the perimeter under the walkways. An awesome building and quite vast in scope, however the Spanish Government should maybe help restore some areas of decline. Still the ceramic work was fantastic and I manage to get a sample photo of Sarah and myself under the walkway as Padme and Anakin had.
Naboo – Caserta, Italy
The Palace was returned to for AOTC in early September 2000 for a short period to film the new Queen elect and again the Handmaidens with Portman and Christiansen, shooting from 1pm to 1am on its one and only day there.
Naboo – The Lake Country, Villa Balbianello, Lake Como.
Villa Balbianello on the shore of Lake Como in Northern Italy dates back to 1787 when Cardinal Durini retired from his diplomatic career and purchased the wooded promontory, bell towers and tiny chapel.
The last private owner, the mountaineer Count Monzini undertook landscaping and architectural restoration in the 1970s
Towards the end of Sarah and my two week Italy trip we headed north to the lakes. After spending a wonderful three nights in Riva del Garda on Lake Garda it was time to take the train and then Water taxi to Bellagio on Lake Como.
We arrived on Saturday 18th September 2004 mid afternoon; from the jetty at Bellagio the Villa Balbianello is just visible looking South West. Not quite knowing where the hotel was and no sign of a land taxi, we decided to walk to the hotel, which took about twenty minutes in the end.
The Hotel was fully stocked with pamphlets and guides to the local attractions it also had a flier for a tour of the Villa and arrival by boat! I could not turn that down. So, we arranged two places for the Sunday costing 40.00 Euros per person.
The company rep was Australian and so we had no trouble understanding what we had to do in case of emergency.The tour did not just do directly to the Villa but also showed other places of interest along the shoreline By the time we got to the small landing area I could hardly contain my excitement. Not only were we in a wonderful location with great views of the Lake,we were also going to be seeing where Anakin stands pondering his mother and the icing on the cake – the location of Anakin and Padme’s wedding.
Before being able to rush off we were taken round on a tour of the property by an English speaking guide who showed us most of the rooms of the property.I hadn’t known any details of this before leaving the UK and was glad to be shown around.
For AOTC the villa is pretty much an undressed location. Lucas had been here whilst on vacation and because of its beauty wanted to use it somehow in the Star Wars Movies so wrote all of the Naboo scenes with this in mind. The cast and crew used the Villa for four days in the first week of September 2000. This is where the romantic story starts to play out and where Anakin and padme’s forbidden love starts to blossom.
The loggia was used for Anakin’s ponderings of his mother (recreated so well by myself), and the courtyard for the secret ceremony of the Two.
NB. I got down on one knee and proposed to Sarah in the courtyard.
She said YES…….. Married 10th Sept.2005.