Star Wars Shooting Locations
Apart from being a popular summer holiday destination, providing the real Arab experience with a flare of Africa, Tunisia is a true Mecca for Star Wars fans. This is where Anakin and Luke Skywalker grew up and started their paths to becoming Jedi knights; keepers of peace and order in the Galaxy. It may have occurred in a galaxy far, far away, but it was actually filmed in a country very, very close.
Tunisia is a country of both the Mediterranean coastline and the coarse Sahara desert. Such desolate terrain served perfect as the set for many Star Wars scenes, and the country is a true Mecca for all fans of the Force.
Home of Anakin and Luke Skywalker – planet Tatooine – is one of the most iconic planets of the Star Wars universe. Its Earthly location is in the Matmata region in the South of Tunisia, situated at the very North of the Sahara desert. Being so desolate and barren, it is also known as the ´Lunar province´. George Lucas initially named the planet Utapau, but changed his mind and opted for the name Tatooine after a town near the desert set, called Tataouine.
The modestly decorated underground home where Luke Skywalker lived with his aunt Beru and uncle Owen Lars (first seen in ´Episode IV: A New Hope´) was inspired by traditional underground Berber homes (Berbers are the native population of Tunisia). After shooting ended in 1976, this site was turned into the Sidi Driss hotel, which is still functional today.
Visitors can spend the night, have a meal in the Lars’ family dining room (of course, the dishes are inspired by the films) or a drink at the bar and take a look at various Star Wars memorabilia, all for a small fee. This is where the Force is strong!
Ong Jmel (the Camel Neck Rock) is a famous little rock on top of a hill, featured in both ´The English Patient´and ´Episode I: The Phantom Menace´, located in the Sahara desert near the city Tozeur. It served as a landing site for Darth Maul, as he released Sith probes to search for Queen Padme Amidala. Getting up there requires working up a sweat, but the view is worth it, as it is in the middle of the desert and surrounded by sand dunes and a flat horizon.
Just a few miles away is the outdoor set of the Mos Espa city, home of young Anakin Skywalker, famous for its small domed homes. This is where Skywalker worked as a slave in ´Episode I´ and where he was ´scouted´ by Qui-Gonn Jin. Entrepreneurial as they are, Tunisians have a few Jedi capes and light sabers prepared at Mos Espa for a photo opportunity; however, it will not set you back a lot. Barely worth mentioning.
Planet Tatooine is one of the most iconic planets of the Star Wars universe. Its Earthly location is in the Matmata region in the South of Tunisia, situated at the very North of the Sahara desert. The locals refer it as the ´Lunar province´.
The most important of all Star Wars shooting locations – the home of young Luke Skywalker. The holy grail of the Force, if you will… The home was modeled after traditional Berber homes which are dug underground in order to shelter the residents from the scorching heat.
The funny-looking rock (Ong Jmel, translating Camel’s Neck) served as a set for both the Oscar-winning movie ´The English Patient´and ´Episode I: The Phantom Menace´.
The view from the Ong Jmel rock is spectacular: you can even see a mirage on the horizon, due to the scorching heat (some 40 degrees Celsius). The small island in a lake is just your mind playing tricks on you.
Small huts of the Mos Espa spaceport – home of young Anakin Skywalker.
The famous Mos Espa eatery where races meet for some trade talk.