Written by Brandon Alinger
Prop Store team member Brandon Alinger made two trips to Tunisia in search of filming locations from the Star Wars films and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Brandon had become interested in the locations after reading several articles written by other fans who had made the trek to North Africa. He was able to get travel tips and directions from those who had been before, and first headed to the desert in May 2001. Over seven days Brandon located the majority of A New Hope, Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Raiders locations in the country.
|The list of Star Wars locations included the Mos Eisley town square, Obi-Wan’s house, the Lars Homestead (interior), the Lars Homestead (exterior), C-3PO’s dune, Anakin’s Hovel, the small Mos Espa set, the large Mos Espa set, and the Star Wars canyon, which also appeared in Raiders. The other Raiders locations were the nearby Tanis Digs site, and the streets of Cairo in Kairouan.|
|One of the highlights of the trip was the fact that all of the sets from Attack of the Clones, which wrapped production 9 months earlier, were still standing. They had been almost complete undisturbed- discarded crew member T-shirts could still be found inside the buildings at the Mos Espa set. Seeing these elaborate Star Wars sets in the middle of the desert was quite a sight. One of the best was the Hotel Sidi Driss set, which was an exact reconstruction of the original set built there for Star Wars 25 years earlier. The Lars Homestead exterior, the small domed Igloo entrance, was also rebuilt in the exact same spot as the original.|
|Many of the locations still contained evidence of the films that had been shot there decades earlier. He found remnants of fiberglass set dressing at the Mos Eisley square and Cantina exterior, Krayt Dragon bones at Threepio’s dune, and fiberglass pieces of the Flying Wing and Fuel Truck at the Tanis Digs site, as well as plaster pieces of Egyptian artifacts.|
|When production wrapped on Raiders in Tunisia, the Flying Wing, partially destroyed by explosion during production, was left for locals to use for scrap parts. The concrete circle the plane sat on during the film was left in place as well. Some time later, the concrete was dug up to be used in the construction of a home down the road. There were piles of concrete rubble from the airstrip that had been left behind at the site, and in these rubble piles Brandon found the pieces of the plane and fuel truck. Most of these pieces were recovered on his second trip, in June 2002.|
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