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40 years since Star Wars release The Swiss inspiration for Star Wars

The Swiss mountains that played a role in Star Wars


On May 25, 1977 the first Star Wars film was released, and Switzerland has its own claim to fame when it comes to the famous space franchise.

Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, began the films’ connection to Switzerland.

The Swiss Alps in Grindelwald, in the Bernese Oberland, provided inspiration for mountain scenery on Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet, that is seen in Episode III. The mountains were scouted as a suitable backdrop, and plate photography of the peaks was combined with other images to create the scenery.

Grindelwaldexternal link is a village and popular ski resort at the foot of the Eiger north face, surrounded by an impressive mountain landscape. 

Swiss technology

The Star Wars connection goes even further than Swiss mountain scenery however. The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, (ETHZ), has a partnership with Disney, where researchers find hi-tech solutions to bring aspects of the Star Wars films to life.

It was a group of researchers at Disney Research Zurich who came up with solutions to make the film’s Stormtroopers look more realistic, by developing computer graphics and a motion capture systemexternal link that can better represent human facial features.

The techniques were used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. 

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