Star Wars may have been set in a galaxy far, far away but the sets were very much down to earth, and it remains a Mecca for devoted fans of the franchise. No fewer than four of the movies were filmed here in Tunisia, which doubled as planet Tatooine, and many of the old sets are still well preserved and open to the public.
As you tour the arid parts of South Tunisia you’ll find a lot of the original props, and as well as visiting Luke Skywalker’s house, now a hotel, you can have your photo taken with moisture vaporators and other futuristic stuff in locations like the Mos Espa set. Here are a few suggestions to get your imagination going.
Popular for its beach vacations and upmarket resorts, Djerba is home to two movie locations at Toshi Station and Ben’s Hermitage at the western end of the island. The hermitage was home to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode IV and is now used as a fishermen’s storage hut.
The temple site of Sidi Jemour, just to the north of Ben’s Hermitage, was Toshi Station in the Star Wars movies. It can be seen in the background in a shot where the landspeeder is rushing into Anchorhead en route to Mos Eisley.
This city in the southwest of Tunisia is a large oasis settlement with thousands of palm trees and is a major exporter of dates. You can use the city as a base for exploring film locations such as Fata Morgana’s by camel. There are also lots of Star Wars Tunisia sets on the outskirts of the city of Tozeur itself, including the canyon, the landing site of the Sith infiltrator and the entire Mos Espa set.
Luke’s home of Lars Homestead is one of the top attractions here for Star Wars fans. You can find it about 35km from Tozeur in a region of dry salt flats. It looks like an igloo in a lunar landscape, and only its exterior was used in the movie.
Ksar Ouled Soltane
Located in the southern district of Medenine, the town gave the Star Wars planet Tatooine its name, and many of the films’ outdoor scenes were shot in the surrounding countryside. Some of the Slave Quarters scenes in Episode I were shot at Ksar Ouled Soltane just south of Medenine, at a traditional grain storage facility.
23km to the north of Tozeur, Sidi Bouhel doubled as the Juntland Wastes of the movies. It was the setting for nine scenes in the first film and was known to the crew as ‘Star Wars Canyon’. It also featured in The English Patient and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The first thing you’ll see when you reach the canyon’s entrance is the Sandcrawler parking lot. The narrow gorge with high walls inside the canyon is where Luke first bumped into Obi-Wan Kenobi and was attacked by the treacherous Tuskan Raiders. Just outside the gorge is the Star Wars Tunisia setting for the Jawas massacre by Imperial Stormtroopers.