Tunisia As Backdrop for 'Star Wars'


When George Lucas first created the Star Wars trilogy, he likely never never imagined that the films, set in Tunisia, would draw in thousands of fans yearly to the country to this day. Many Star Wars fans have already found their way to the deserts of southern Tunisia, 'in a galaxy far far away’ that set the scene for one of history's most famous films .

As the producer and director of the trilogy, George Lucas traveled to exotic lands to find the perfect setting for his epic space opera film. Tunisia’s sprawling deserts, bizarre landscapes and peculiar underground dwellings are what drew George Lucas to this North African country.

Years later, he commented, “When I was searching in 1977 for a place to make the first Star Wars movie I found Tunisia the ideal country for filming: beautiful countryside, unique architecture and a very high level of technical sophistication.” 

Film locations in Tunisia

Tozeur makes for an excellent base to visit the nearby Star Wars film locations. Just outside of town is the film set of Mos Espa, where visitors can explore its gates, pod-racing arena, gallery and market. Walking through the set, it’s easy to confuse illusion with reality. Just 23km out of town, you’ll find the Star Wars Canyon, which was also featured in other movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The English Patient.

But for those who are looking to get beyond the film locations, Tozeur itself is worth a visit. An oasis set amidst a jungle of palm trees, this is the gateway to the Sahara Desert. Explore the desert on camelback or take in the hypnotic atmosphere of the desert.

The fictional planet of Tatooine, home to Anakin and Luke Skywalker, actually got its name from a real inland city in southern Tunisia called Tataouine (pictured above). Most of the scenes featuring Tatooine were shot in the hills and villages surrounding this town.

After following the Star Wars trail, kick back on the island of Djerba, best known for its resorts and beaches. Town is just a hop away from Toshi Station and Ben’s hermitage which was used as the house of Obi-wan Kenobi.

For those planning a Tunisia vacation, indulge yourself in some outer space fantasy while lounging by the beach. We're sure George Lucas would like that.

Originally posted on our Passport To Iberiastar blog.

Photo | mamnaimie

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