The Star Wars Tatooine desert scenes were mainly filmed in Tunisia but some were filmed in Death Valley (U.S).
George Lucas used various locations in Tunisia to film the desert planet Tatooine in A New Hope. The town of Ajim was used for the exteriors of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s home, which was actually an old mosque. The Tatooine port city of Mos Espa was built outside the city of Tozeur.
The Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmatat-Al-Qadimal, Tunisia was used as Luke Skywalker’s childhood home. The hotel consists of five “pits.” Four of the pits are for lodging, and the fifth is called the “Star Wars pit.” Luke’s dining room is now the hotel’s restaurant. If you are a hardcore fan, you can actually stay at the hotel and eat where Luke Skywalker ate as a kid. All movie props were removed after filming ended in 1976 but returned in 2000 when Attack of the Clones was filmed. Since then, many set decorations and props have remained and have become quite a tourist attraction.
Lucas used Death Valley for some pickup shots after the shooting in Tunisia was completed. For example, the scene where C-3PO and R2-D2 travel to Jabba the Hutt‘s place was filmed in Twenty Mule Team Canyon in Death Valley.
- Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO, could not see through his costume’s eyes, which was covered in gold to prevent corrosion.
- Abnormal radio signals caused by the Tunisian desert sands made the radio-controlled R2-D2 models be unpredictable.
- The animated Death Star plans were the only computer animation in A New Hope.
- Yavin scenes were filmed in the Mayan temples in Guatemala.
- Lucas originally envisioned the planet of Tatooine to have a lot of jungles until scouts traveled to the Philipines to find a filming location and found out how itchy the bugs would make them.
- Wikipedia.org – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
- MentalFloss.com – 20 Star Wars Movie Locations You Can Visit in Real Life
- AtlasObscura.com – Hotel Sidi Driss
- Wikipedia.org – Star Wars (film)