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Star Wars - Hollywood in Tunisia

Among the millions of planets of the universe, George Lucas chose the south of Tunisia.

There is a reason why the first movie of Star Wars ( "A new hope", episode 4), shot in 1976, starts in Tatooine, a desert city at the edge of the Republic.

The Hollywood name is strangely reminiscent of another desert city, real this time: Tataouine, located in the very south of Tunisia

Esplanade Mos Espa 

During 30 years, Lucas' army landed many times in the Tunisian Sahara to shoot the six episodes of the legendary saga.

Many remains of this galactic past are still visible in the desert. The Rebellion still rumbles behind the dunes and the death star could be hidden in the inaccessible gorges of the desert mountains.

In Matmata, full coaches drive starwars fans who come to visit what is left of the first shooting.

Some even went for an expedition to compare the place with the pictures of the movie.

House in Mos EspaMay the force be with them! Jedis, droides et hyperdrives left impressive traces scattered over 200 km of desert. Especially in the area of Douz.

In the chott El Jerid Lucas had dug two craters and built the farm where Luke Skywalker admires both suns. 

In the summer, under 50 degrees (real, not galactic), the film buffs' search could become harder.Imagine the heat felt by the actors!


The best-preserved sites are located next to another salty lake, the Chott el Gharsa, between Tozeur and Nefta.

A jeep visit is compulsory to discover the big dune of the fourth episode. Unfortunately, the skeleton of the dragon Kreyt has disappeared a long time ago...

Not far from the big dune, in a basin, there is a lucky find: a papier-mâché village! It is Mos Espa. Remember the "vaporators"!

Star Wars track

Ong Jmel

The track to Mos Espa has another attraction: Ong Jemel (the rock of the camel), where the race of the modules in the "Phantom menace" took place.

The valley used for the shooting of "the English patient"is not far from here.

Obviously a popular site in Hollywood! Back to reality, kids run to you as soon as you arrive to sell jewells or exchange money. What a galactic encounter! 

Tofind Star Wars sites in Tunisia :

Fabio Benedetti-Valentini ©


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