Dubrovnik made a brief, but memorable appearance in Disney’s fantasy epic Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi as Canto Bight, a casino city introduced to the space saga in the 2017 feature. The fictional city, a playground for the galaxy far far away’s gamblers, war profiteers and the ultrarich, is situated by a large artificial ocean on the desert planet Cantonica in the Outer Rim. Canto Bight plays a small, but crucial role in the saga’s ongoing war between the First Order and the rebels when Resistance members Finn, Rose and BB-8 travel there to recruit a code breaker to help them disable the First Order’s hyperspace tracker and save the day.
While a portion of the Canto Bight sequence was filmed at Pinewood Studios near London and some of the Dubrovnik scenes were shot on a boat, the old city, which reportedly served as an inspiration for Canto Bight and its casino, provided several locations where additional filming took place in March 2016. Parts of the Old Town were transformed into living stages and shut down for hours at a time over the course of a week to allow the Resistance fighters to flee through the streets of Canto Bight, sending a land speeder into a stone pillar, and escape the city with the help of a herd of fathiers (space horses) that stampeded through the city.
The main chase sequence was filmed on Stradun, the main street of the Dubrovnik Old Town, and at several other locations in the vicinity, including the Walls of Dubrovnik near Minčeta Tower, the square next to Revelin Fortress, Banje Beach and a narrow street leading to the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum and Aquarium.
For the duration of the shoot, Dubrovnik’s streets and landmark were modified to look even more unworldly, props and green screens could be seen on every corner of the Old Town, and the space horse was parked near the Dubrovnik Cathedral. One of the souvenir shops along Stradun was transformed into a galactic outpost, the street itself got new columns and arches, and Onofrio’s Fountain was given a futuristic upgrade with white neon posts blended into the original design.
While the set designers augmented a section of Stradun, the street remains recognizable in the film, as does Banje Beach, which can be made out toward the end of Rose and Finn’s escape sequence.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Travellers looking to explore the filming locations and many other attractions of Dubrovnik can book their stay at the Astarea Hotel. Situated in a picturesque village near the old city, the hotel is ideal for anyone looking for a tranquil seaside holiday with easy access to the Dubrovnik city centre. In addition to modern, fully equipped rooms with comfortable beds and stunning sea views, the hotel offers an excellent dining experience, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa zone, and a wide selection of drinks and cocktails at its bars. Astarea also has a range of special offers to ensure that guests have a relaxing, memorable stay.