In a forest not so far away, the force has stirred…
Star Wars fans around the world will mark Star Wars “May the fourth be with you” Day and the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean has a very real reason to join the celebrations.
Key scenes in The Force Awakens were filmed in magical Puzzlewood and nearby Coleford is welcoming Stormtroopers, Jedis and fans alike for an out-of-this-world day of themed shopping, contest, costume parades and a screening of the movie at the Studio Cinema.
There’s also the chance to follow in the footsteps of Kylo Ren in Puzzlewood itself. Barely altered by the set dressers, it’s possible to stand in the same exact spot as Rey and BB-8 and imagine yourself as part of the action. Kathleen Kennedy, vice-president of Lucas Films, described the location as “the most magical forest on earth” – it is a place that must be experienced to be believed.
Of course, it’s not just J J Abrams who was inspired by the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Just before The Force Awakens was released in December you may have seen some unusual surfers on the Severn Bore. Stormtroopers took to the wave not just to celebrate the destination’s link to Star Wars, but to launch a Film and TV Trail (if you’re lucky, you might spot them again on one of the Bores predicted for this weekend).
Before Jedis came wizards, knights and even Time Lords. The area has appeared on the small and big screens more than you may realise. Doctor Who, Merlin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Huntsman have all filmed in the area at beautiful locations like Clearwell Caves, Coppet Hill, Symons Yat and Raglan Castle.
So why not pick up a lightsaber (or wand or sonic screwdriver) and discover these natural stages for yourself?
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May the 4th be with you.
Start your adventure now at www.visitwyedeanfilm.co.uk
Find out about the Top Ten Filming Locations in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean here.