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Deal: How to get a free map to 'Star Wars' filming sites in Death Valley

Deal: How to get a free map to 'Star Wars' filming sites in Death Valley
Death Valley was a film location for "Star Wars" scenes, and now you can find out where with help from a free map. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

For the "Star Wars"-obsessed, you can visit a galaxy not so far away where George Lucas shot scenes from his first "Star Wars" film in 1977.

Death Valley National Park proved a convincing other world for the movie, and now a free map will point you to those filming locations.

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The deal: The luxury Furnace Creek Resort inside the park will hand out maps to all who ask to see some of the sites in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."

— Mardji the Asian elephant claimed a temporary home in the Oasis Gardens at the inn. She played the role of a Bantha, the film's pack animal, decked out with horns and a woolly mane for the part. Mardji came from an animal park in Vallejo, Calif.

— A little Sandcrawler station that featured R2-D2 was set up not far from Artist's Palette. Filming shots in Death Valley were matched with desert shots in Tunisia to form a convincing Tatooine desert. (Check out this match-up of movie frames with their respective Death Valley locations.)

— Other "Star Wars" destinations in the park include Golden Canyon, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Dantes View and Desolation Canyon. If you want to see all the 1977 filming locations, you'll have to visit Tunisia and Guatemala.

If you want to stay over in Death Valley, the AAA four-diamond rated inn offers rooms this winter starting at $339 a night and $119 a night at the Ranch.

When: The free maps are good indefinitely, based on availability.

Details: Death Valley has been a popular TV and movie filming site for many years. The inn's website notes that Eric von Stroheim filmed parts of "Greed" (1924) here, and "The Air Mail" (1925) was shot at nearby Rhyolite.

For those who want to see a real otherworldly galaxy, look up. You can often see the Milky Way clearly at night at this dark-sky park.

Lastly, note that some areas of the park — Scotty's Castle and the Mesquite Campground -- are temporarily closed due to flood damage from a severe thunderstorm in October.

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