Tunisia – Living the “Star Wars” Life. The Star Wars Film sets are visible in Tunisian desert nearly four decades after the first film was filmed.
The south of Tunisia is full of beautiful sites like the multiple oases located in Tozeur and Gabes, the Ksour in Tataouine as well as the beautiful Mides Valley in Tozeur, but one of the most famous attractions of the region is the Star Wars film sets located in different governorates of the south.
Tunisia was used as a filming location for the six first Star Wars movies expect for the fifth. From Chott El Jerid to Djerba, the filming took place in seven main locations dispersed throughout various regions and governorates.
Hotel Sidi Driss, Matmata – Star Wars Location
The interior of the Lars Homestead was filmed in Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata, originally built by The Berbers in the traditional Troglodyte style.
Chott El Jerid, Tunisia – Star Wars Location
Located near Nefta, Chott El Jerid was used as the Tatooine desert and the exterior of The Lars Homestead where Luke Skywalker grew up. Till today, you can find a weirdly shaped igloo standing in the middle of the Chott.
This set was first built for the first trilogy but was later renovated multiple times by the government and later on by a group of young volunteers. It is accessible by 4×4 otherwise it will take up to 30 minutes walking form the main road.
Ong Jmal & Mos Espa – Star Wars Film Sets
In the heart of Tozeur desert, Ong Jemel was used as a location to shoot multiple scenes because of the unique shape of the famous rock ressembling a camel’s neck.
A few kilometres away from Ong Jemel, the set where the exterior scenes of Mos Espa were filmed is still preserved in good condition. You can roam the streets of Mos Espa and wander around the surreal buildings of the set. The main gate and the moisture vaporators are still standing despite the harsh climate.
Ksar Medenine, Ksar Haddada & Ksar Wled Soltane
The Berber Ksour located in Tataouine and Medenine were used as the sets of the Slave Quarters Row of Mos Espa where Anakin Skywalker lived in the prequel trilogy.
Sidi Bouhlel – Star Wars Film Location
Often referred to as “The Star Wars Canyon” because of the amount of filming done there, the canyon was used as the location of The Juntland Wastes in the movies.
Nine important scenes were shot in this location including the first meeting between Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi.
Three important Star Wars film locations are found in the island.
The set of Mos Eisley Cantina is located in Ajim; a former bakery, now in ruins, was the exact location of the set.
Sidi Jmour was used as the set for Tosche Station of Anchorhead. This might not a recognizable location because it was only used in deleted scenes.
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Ben’s Hermitage appeared only in one movie; it was where Ben Kenobi resided in Tatooine.
Many words and names in the world of Star Wars were inspired by Berber and Arabic names like the desert planet Tatooine and its moons Chennini, Ghomrassen and Guermessa, Jerba which is an animal found on the planet, Nefta who is a humanoid male and the Tozeer System.
These locations and the impact they left on those regions are still present today as many locals are making a living out of tours of these locations and selling local products to visitors.
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