Structure in the desert at Mos Espa Star Wars Location in Tunisia

9 Star Wars Locations in Tunisia To Visit

For movie buffs and Star Wars enthusiasts alike, Tunisia is a coveted destination – a gateway to the galaxy far, far away. The desert landscapes of this North African country became the setting for the fictional planet of Tatooine, a humble beginning for one of cinema’s greatest heroes, Luke Skywalker. Today, fans continue to make the pilgrimage to the original Star Wars filming locations in Tunisia.

So let’s climb aboard our intergalactic starships and explore these iconic locations.

Best Star Wars Filming Locations

Matmata and Hotel Sidi Driss – Lars Homestead Interior

A New Hope, 1976 and Attack of the Clones, 2002

Inhabiting the otherworldly terrain of Matmata, Tunisia, are fascinating dwellings known as troglodyte structures. One such structure served as the home of Luke Skywalker, located in the fictitious planet of Tatooine. The unique architecture and arid landscapes of this region in Southern Tunisia offered the perfect backdrop to imagine an alien world. Today, this location has been transformed into Hotel Sidi Driss, inviting Star Wars fanatics to spend a night in a real-life film set.

Hotel Sidi Driss is more than just a hotel—it’s a piece of cinematic history. Besides its Hollywood connection, the hotel offers comfortable, cave-style accommodations, steeped in Tunisian tradition, making for a truly out-of-this-world experience!

Mos Espa

Mos Espa, a fictional spaceport in the Star Wars universe, is where audiences first meet a young Anakin Skywalker in “The Phantom Menace”. In reality, this spaceport was brought to life in the deserts of Tunisia, with the set still largely intact today. The structures embody the unique combination of otherworldly design and authentic Tunisian architecture, making it a must-visit pilgrimage site for Star Wars fans. Immerse yourself in the scenes of podracing and Galactic dealings that unfolded in this rustic, desert locale.

Located just a short drive from the oasis of Tozeur, the Mos Espa film set still features notable structures, including the spaceport gate, pod-racing arena, the Mos Espa streets, Watto’s shop and the cafe owned by the famous podracer, Sebulba.

Nearby you’ll also find the Yardangs, the location where Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul fight in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This is also the location where Queen Amidala’s Royal Starship lands on Tatooine.

Tataouine: The Namesake of Tatooine

Tataouine, a city in Southern Tunisia, is largely believed to have inspired the name of Skywalker’s home planet. Though no actual scenes were shot in Tataouine, the town is worth visiting for a sense of nostalgia, and is close to other Star Wars shooting spots like Matmata and Ksar Ouled Soltane.

Ksar Ouled Soltane: Slave Quarters of Mos Espa

Ksar Ouled Soltane, essentially a fortified granary, was transformed into the Slave Quarters of Mos Espa in “The Phantom Menace”. Known as Ghorfas, these granaries were ideal to depict the harsh and gritty life of a slave, offering a sense of authenticity to Anakin Skywalker’s origins.

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Ong Jemel: The Camel’s Head

Ong Jemel, known as the ‘Camel’s head’ in English, is a unique rock formation in Tunisia, where Darth Maul arrives in Tatooine. From here, he surveys the port of Mos Espa and releases the Sith probe droids in search of Padme. After locating Anakin and Qui-Gon, Darth Maul is seen flying over the cliffs in pursuit.

Chott el Djerid: The Lars Homestead Exterior

Episode II Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Not far from Tataouine is Chott el Djerid, a large salt lake. Its surrounding desert was used to portray the exterior of the Lars homestead, setting for iconic scenes in both the original and prequel trilogies.

The igloo-style homestead was later recreated in full scale, becoming a fixture in the surreal desert landscape after shooting was complete. It still stands today, adding a touch of cinema magic to the Tunisian desert.

Sidi Bouhlel: Where 9 Scenes Were Filmed

Sidi Bouhlel, a picturesque canyon in southern Tunisia, served as a prominent filming location in the first Star Wars movie. Known as ‘Star Wars canyon’ among fans, it is remembered as the spot where R2-D2 was kidnapped by Jawas, and it forms the backdrop of several iconic scenes. Its rugged, ethereal beauty helped bring the barren landscapes of Tatooine, home planet of Skywalker, to life on screen. The canyon continues to attract Star Wars enthusiasts longing for a touch of cinematic nostalgia.

Ksar Ouled Soltane and Ksar Haddada

Ksar Ouled Soltane, a fortified granary, transformed into the Slave Quarters of Mos Espa for “The Phantom Menace”. Nearby, Ksar Haddada was converted into the iconic Skywalker’s pod-racing hangar. Both sites feature unique vernacular architecture known as Ghorfas, providing a genuine sense of place for the Star Wars saga. These locations link Tunisia’s rich architectural history with a global cinematic phenomenon, attracting Star Wars fans from all over the world.

Obi Wan’s House, Island of Djerba

On the tranquil island of Djerba, Tunisia, resides another Star Wars gem—Obi-Wan Kenobi’s domicile. This simple and humble structure, initially a fisherman’s house, was chosen by George Lucas to be the Jedi Knight’s abode in “A New Hope”. Situated near the town of Ajim, the house encapsulates the feeling of isolation Obi-Wan must’ve felt on Tatooine. It provides an emotional insight into the Star Wars narrative and also offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a must-visit spot for avid Star Wars fans.

A Final Word…

Despite the harsh and challenging filming conditions, George Lucas and his crew were able to transform Tunisia’s special landscapes into the iconic scenes of the Star Wars universe. For fans of the franchise, a trip to these locations is a must. Not just to bask in the nostalgia and cinematic history, but also to admire the beauty and uniqueness of Tunisia’s landscapes that the Star Wars universe introduced to people worldwide.

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