I’ve always loved articles that detail the shooting locations of popular
movies. Actually traveling to visit the places is equally as exciting.
It was therefore with great pleasure that I ran across a short article in the LA Times about film
locations in Tunisia. I’ve never really thought much about Tunisia before, but I most certainly enjoyed all that Tatooine desert scenery in many of the Star Wars films.
Well, whadda know? They are one and the same place. In fact, the town of Tataouine, located in the southwest of the country was the
inspiration behind the planet’s fictional name.
The Tunisian town of Matmata, however,
where inhabitants build their homes underground to escape the desert heat, is where much of the filming took
place—especially at Hotel Sidi Driss which
doubled as Skywalker’s aunt and uncle’s house and where tourists can bed for just $8 a night.
Further afield, tourists can check out the set for slave quarters Mos Espa created for the film The Phantom
Menace and which still remains standing in the Sahara Desert today. The grain storage ruins of Ksar Hadada also doubled for Mos Espa and are
easily visited on a day trip from Tataouine.
I couldn’t find any mention of that cool bar in the first movie, however, where we first meet Han Solo.
The Tunisians must be keeping it to themselves; there’s nothing like a couple of tourists, and Star Wars nerds at that, to ruin a really good watering