Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – On Location in Tunisia

In the summer of 2001 Prop Store team member Brandon Alinger traveled to Tunisia in search of the original filming locations for Star Wars: ANH, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Star Wars prequels. Seventeen-year-old Brandon managed to convince his parents the trip would make an ideal family vacation, and spent a week traveling the country and seeing the Star Wars sites. While many fans have visited the Tunisian locations over the years, at that point there had only been a handful of visitors and information was scarce. Gus Lopez had a website dedicated to Star Wars locations, and Jeremy Beckett had produced a guidebook which covered many of the sites.

“Seeing those locations first-hand was an amazing experience for me. Just like collecting original props from the films, visiting the locations allows you to connect with the movies in a unique and profound way. Looking at the sets, I was fascinated by the logistics of the production process, and how on earth they shot my favorite films in so many remote locations. What a trip!” says Alinger.

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Lars Homestead exterior set, outside of Nefta. Reconstructed in 2001, at the original location, for Attack of the Clones.

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The Lars’ dining room at Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata. This underground dwelling is actually an operating hotel, and is over 700 years old.

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The infamous Jawa rock at the entrance of Star Wars Canyon, east of Tozuer.

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La Grande Dune, a few miles from the homestead exterior, was where C-3PO came across the Krayt Dragon Bones.

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This fiberglass prop was originally made for a 1975 Disney film called One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. That film employed a number of the key technicians who would go on to create Star Wars.

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Looking down into the Hotel Sidi Driss, which served as the interior of the Lars homestead. This set was also reconstructed in 2001 for Attack of the Clones.

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The distinct cliff on the left side of the Star Wars Canyon can also be seen during the ark procession in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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The exterior of the Lars Homestead is several hundred miles from the interior set in Matmata. The crater on the right is intended to represent the Hotel Sidi Driss set.

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This small fisherman’s hut on the coast of Djerba was used for the establishing shot of Obi-Wan’s house in Star Wars.

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In the 1997 Special Edition it was replaced with a digital shot.

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This marabout, also on Djerba, was the site of the infamous cut scenes between Garrick Hagon and Mark Hamill. It is seen in the final cut of the film only briefly, when the landspeeder flies past.

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The Mos Eisley cantina, located in Ajim on Djerba, was an existing building that was dressed during production with a false front and additional fiberglass detailing. Some fiberglass domes from the set were still present 25 years later.

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Hiking up to the overlook at the Star Wars canyon is hard work, but the views are worth it. This ledge is also where the Sand People first view Luke’s speeder coasting through the canyon.

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