Naboo – Whippendell Wood, London, UK.
Another, if small addition to the location filming for TPM is Whippendell Woods, Grove Mill Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire.
Parts of this 160 acre woodland are classified as ancient semi-natural woodland; although records date it back only to Anglo-Saxon times. An ideal day out for scenic walks and nature trails.
The woods served as the backdrop for the opening scenes on Naboo with Qui-Gon Jinn, Jar Jar Binks and Obi-Wan evading STAP’s . Also in the GunGan sacred place segments.
Naboo – Reggia de Caserta, Italy.
The Palazzo Reale or Royal Palace is just North East of Naples in southern Italy.
Located on the Piazza Carlo III, built in the fifteenth century by King Charles VII of France, it has 1,200 rooms and 116 step staircase.It is directly opposite the railway station and clearly visible from the exit.
Sarah and I went on a two week train tour of Italy in September 2004. We stayed three nights in Sorrento, two in Rome, two in Florence, three in Lake Garda, three in Lake Como and one night in Milan. I will say the Italian trains were superb always on time
and always clean!
We decided to go to Caserta on our 1st full day in Italy (as we had plans the next day for Pompeii) we woke early got on the Circumvesuviana to Naples then a connecting train took us to the Palace.
The day was becoming very hot already so we bought water before heading out of the station. As you get out into the sunshine the Palace is right in front of you, all be it on the other side of the road and a football pitch or two of grass. We took an underground walkway that led right to the main gate. When we arrived we asked for tickets and were asked what seemed to be a strange question about requiring a bus for the gardens? Being fit and young (not a word Sarah) I said no. I just could not wait to look for the large staircase and the Queen of Naboo’s room. (More about the gardens later).We were in luck with visitors, not too many and so we were able to look around unhindered. The staircase is located centrally and is indeed very large, it is exactly like the shots seen in the film, lions included. Sweeping up from the outside elements and round in both directions, this tourist’s mouth was wide open just taking in the size and scope of the place. As you reach the top either side there is a circular room where nearly all of the Queens dialogue was filmed.
I had thought the room was flat and found it hard to orientate myself at first. Again the scope of the place and fantastic marble was breathtaking.
However there was a problem – there was an exhibition taking place in the circle and they had started to put up screens around, so taking a photo was all but pointless. I got a few images and just took in the moment; I was at Queen Amidala’s court for a short while at least.
If you are in the area of Caserta do go to the Palace and also visit the gardens but unless uber fit take the bus option because they go on for miles (like Versailles, yes I have been there too). A great visit and start to our holiday.
Used for TPM for four days towards the last week in July 1997 filming the main cast Natalie Portman, Oliver Ford Davis, Hugh Quarshie and a little known Keira Knightly took place between midday and midnight. 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.
Its most famous inhabitant was Anne Boleyn, one of King Henry XIII’s wives.
Today the castle is owned by the Broadland Properties Limited. The castle and gardens are open daily from March 1st to November 30th.Filming for TPM took place for a day in 1997 on the grounds by the ornate Italian Loggia featuring a marble fountain (see pics).
Waterfall Deleted scene – (YouTube video)
Sadly the scene where the “Bongo” goes over the waterfall and the Jedi and Jar Jar Binks have to make their way to shore was cut from the theatrical release but is available on the DVD deleted scenes. As you will see there has been some digital effects work to replicate the look and skyline of Naboo.
(VILLA DEL BALBIANELLO)