Yavin 4 – Tikal, Guatemala.
The Mayan ruins of Tikal were used for the establishing shots of the rebel Massassi base at the end of Star Wars, A New Hope. This is where the Millennium Falcon lands and the rebel’s stage their attack on the first Death Star as it is closing in on Yavin 4.
The Earthbound setting for the Massassi Outpost on the fourth moon of the planet Yavin seen towards the end of ANH was filmed at the Mayan temple complex at Tikal.
The ruins, which are over 2500 years old, are in 220 square miles of rainforest in the Parc Nacional Tikal, northern Guatemala. Tikal in its heyday ca 700 AD was the capital of a vast Mayan Empire. Temple IV stands 212 feet from the base of the platform supporting its pyramid to the top of its roof comb, the highest standing aboriginal New World structure. It is estimated that some 250,000 cubic yards of construction material have been incorporated in Temple IV and its supporting platform.The Climate is tropical and humid. Hat, sunglasses and sun block cream required. Hottest month is April. Rainy season: May to October.
Millennium Falcon approach & landing on Yavin 4 – YouTube video
The shot of the rebel soldier (model maker Lorne Peterson) following the approaching Millennium Falcon is from Temple 4 of the complex. This shot was filmed by Richard Edlund and Dick Alexander.
NB. The exterior of the Rebel Base on Yavin was shot at the Royal Air Force base in Bedfordshire, England completed with a matte painting.