Cities like Vancouver, Atlanta, and of course New York City are famous filming locations, where film crews and actors descend on the streets to make movie magic happen. But even the most dynamic city doesn’t look like a planet in a galaxy far far away… or even one in our own solar system. For dry air, heat, and endless sand, directors turn to an entirely different location: the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.
The desert, also known as the Valley of the Moon, features a barren but beautiful landscape, dotted with granite cliffs and covered in red sand. And you’d be surprised to learn how often the scenery of the Wadi Rum desert pops up on the silver screen. It has served as a stand-in for Mars and as the backdrop for battles between Jedi and Sith lords and epic struggles against hostile aliens. The latest movie filmed in Wadi Rum is the highly anticipated Denis Villeneuve Dune reboot. Here are the most famous movies filmed in the Wadi Rum desert.