Guy’s Guide: VII Things Star Wars Can Teach You About Travel

Okay we’ll admit it, the new Star Wars trilogy has got us pretty geeked-out-excited. Promising less computerized special effects and more live-action-live-set cinematography; a new droid and lightsaber; bringing back Lawrence Kasdan – the original screen writer for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; and legendary film composer John Williams who penned the original ‘bam-bum-ba-dum-bum’ music, – (let us catch our breath) – ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ hopefully connects more with the nostalgia of the original trilogy over the more recently released prequels (which were total yawns). They are also chock full of life lessons like that old good vs. evil thing. So, in time for the release of Episode VII, we’ve distilled a few gems of wisdom from the Star Wars universe that can help the Luxe Nomad on that never ending quest of vacation perfection.

I. Follow The Sun(s)

Who doesn’t like sunsets and long walks on the beach…

1977’s ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’ sets up this classic Sci-Fi scene of Luke gazing longingly at the setting two suns of Tatooine wishing to escape his small-town (okay it’s not really a town) farming life, and instead pursue the path of the Jedi. It’s pretty obvious which path he took, but we think an applicable experience for all nomads; a sense of home and place is often contradictory to a life on the move. Need that extra kick to get you out the door? Only visible in parts of Indonesia, there’s a solar eclipse on March 9th 2016 where the darkest part of the Moon’s shadow, called the umbra, will strike the surface of the Earth, tracing a delicate line thousands of kilometres long – but just 100 to 150 kilometres wide. This phenomena hasn’t occurred in Asia since 1988 and won’t again until 2023. It may not be Tatooine, but it will definitely be otherworldly.

II. The Ewoks Know What’s Up

Glamping on Endor

Love them or hate them (we love them), the little, clumsy, furry guys known as Ewoks know how to live it up – in the trees. While 1983’s ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi’ first introduced us to their planet and the Bright Tree Village perched in the canopy, if you want your very own modern-day Endor escape, you may want to check out the newly opened Keemala in Phuket, where the resemblance is uncanny – albeit slightly more luxurious.

III. Blend In

A real who’s who

In ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’, Queen Amidala of Naboo (Natalie Portman) switched roles on several occasions with her handmaiden Sabé (Keira Knightley), effectively saving her life while also allowing her to get to Tatooine incognito to meet the young Anakin Skywalker. There’s nothing more embarrassing as a fellow traveller to see other tourists disrespecting the local culture – whether it be from ignorance or arrogance. Read up on where you’re going, know your do’s and don’ts, and go local – whether it be through cuisine, dress, or customs.

IV. One Song Can Change Everything

Someone needs to open this bar

So, there’s a rumour that ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ has a new Cantina song, and for true Star Wars nerds, that is like cream-your-pants news. Figrin D’An and the Modal Nodes clarinetted their way into our hearts in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope with the background soundtrack to the Mos Eisley Cantina. If you’re not familiar with the original, there’s a 10-hour loop of it here. The point? A simple song can go a long way, and the Cantina Song has now achieved a cult-like status of fame. We love to seek out local music, load up some playlists, bring a bluetooth speaker and swap some tracks with travellers we meet. Plan a soundtrack for your trip and the two will be forever associated.

V. Abu Dhabi is Otherworldly

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Ph: Film Frame ©Lucasfilm 2015
This is where it begins

The original Star Wars trilogy was known for their exotic film locales, with the original Tunisian film set still acting as a major tourist draw. For the new installment, Norway, Iceland, and Abu Dhabi play host to the various extraterrestrial planets of the galaxy. Known as the Empty Quarter on earth, the largest desert in the world has a few luxe gems by Anantara that can satisfy both the geek and the chic looking for an arid escape.

VI. Always Pack A Special Outfit 

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 8.48.52 AM
Always dress to impress

Princess Leia’s outfits from episodes IV, V and VI have become iconic fashion pieces (and Halloween costumes), while Natalie Portman’s Queen Amidala featured some mind-blowing hair, makeup and clothes. We’ve got high hopes that Episode VII will likewise feature some never-before-seen costuming, but what can the nomad take away from this? Even if you’re a slave chained to a slug, you can still look good doing it – so pack accordingly.

VII. Jedi Mind Tricks Work on Earth

Strong the force is in a nomad

Well you may not be able to levitate an X-Wing out of a bog, but we’re firm believers in confidence, politeness, positive thinking and being direct as force-worthy techniques to master in life. Can’t get a reservation at a packed restaurant? Avoid the emotions of the dark side and head over to the bar instead – perhaps the barman can help you out over some drinks. That beautiful cliff-top hotel full? Drop in and talk with the concierge – they may have held a room back. A genuine smile can go further than you think, and as Yoda says: “Do or do not…there is no try”.

We say do.

image credits: Main, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 

Alexander Doerr

Adding a little Yang to the Wanderluxe Yin, this nomad can often be found riding his 1978 Vespa through the streets of the Big Durian. A lover of Javanese vintage, running, strange tropical flowers and brutalist architecture, he hates papayas, but is working on it.

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