Tunisia 2009 Pt V: Star Wars Traveller – Tatooine (a.k.a. Djerba)

I just missed a louage to the island of Djerba at 5.30am and then had to wait over an hour for the following one to become full. The cost of the taxi included the ferry crossing and culminated at the north of the island from where I then hired a taxi driver to take me round the places I wanted to visit. This island is a very popular destination for tourists who frequent the eastern side of the island and its beautiful beaches so my driver must have thought I was a right oddity for wanting to see three old run-down buildings on the west side in Ajim.

First stop was the marabout of Sidi Jemour which played Anchorhead in a deleted scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and was also used as the outskirts of Mos Eisley. Personally, I wasn’t that bothered about this place but as I was in the vicinity I thought I may as well see it.

 
 

Further down the coast and close to the ferry port was Ben Kenobi’s hermitage; a lone derelict building which appeared on screen for about one second with Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder outside it. The film portrays it as being in the middle of the desert by using a low camera angle but it is fact right next to the sea. This was very geeky but very exciting although there was nothing whatsoever inside for that was no doubt filmed in the studio.

 Tunisia Aug '09 309

My final port of call on the Star Wars trail was the Mos Eisley Cantina bar where Luke and Ben were introduced to Han Solo before escaping in the Millennium Falcon; filmed on a nearby sidestreet which I found thanks to the map in Mark Dermul’s ‘Trip to Tatooine’ book. Without such a map it would have been fairly impossible to find the Cantina, the blast-off alley and the stormtrooper checkpoint. They were still difficult enough to find even with the map! Of course its been over 30 years since the movie was filmed so needless to say that the buildings are not in good condition but it was nice to finish my Star Wars journey at such a pivotal place in the whole saga.

 
     

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Africa Travel, Movie Locations, Star Wars, Star Wars Filming Locations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Tunisia 2009 Pt V: Star Wars Traveller – Tatooine (a.k.a. Djerba)

  1. Gideon says:

    Very interesting trip, I’m a little surprised there weren’t more fans making the pilgrimage. Did you catch a bevy in the bar? Judging by the photos it’s a much safer place than in the film!

  2. The Whitemeister says:

    Yeah I was a bit surprised to not find any other fans out there. Luke Skywalkers home is the only place that is a tourist trap but given that everyone (outside of Tunisia anyway!) has heard of Star Wars its a place that most people want to see whatever their interest in the saga. Its interesting even if you don’t like Star Wars as those homes are unusual. The Mos Espa set is included in some tours but the west side of Tunisisa (where its located) is not as well-travelled as the east side. The Cantina is one for only the real ‘anoraks’ and is an old building which is empty. The door in the movie was fake I think and never actually there. The bar was therefore not in existence which is a success for me as i didn;t have to run the risk of not being liked in there! I didn’t think Mos Eisley was such a wretched hive of scum and villainy

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  12. This is amazing. I had no idea Tunisia was so like Greece. I believe some of the shots could well have been filmed near here. Ben Kenobi’s house especially, could have been in one of the Greek islands.

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