The force was with us when another group of tourists arrived and helped us get our car unstuck. A few minutes later we stopped at the large Mos Espa set. Several scenes were filmed here since this is where Qui-Gon and his group walked into town and where Watto's junkyard was located. The set was huge and I wish that I had more reference images to line up my pictures. Many items on the set had either been removed by the film crew or by previous visitors, but there was still some things left. The souvenir that we ended up grabbing was a plastic piece of molding from a doorframe. Jared was experiencing some ill effects from the heat so we returned to our hotel for a siesta and agreed to meet Hamida later.
That afternoon we drove to Sidi Bouhel to see Star Wars canyon. A lot of scenes were filmed in this small canyon. By composing the shots differently it made the scenes look like new places and far away from each other when in fact they were right next to one another. Mother Nature built these sets and they were still easily recognizable after twenty-three years. I especially liked seeing the rock that the Jawas hid behind so they could capture R2-D2.
The following morning we picked up Hamida and went in search of the Lars homestead. We found it still intact out in the middle of a salt flat. Only the exterior shots were filmed here which is strange because the inside and the outside of the house are hundreds of miles apart. My favorite scene was captured here, when Luke is dreaming of far away places and adventure as the twin suns of Tatooine are setting. So much of his character was explained in that one instant and not a single word was spoken. It is truly one of those times where a picture is worth a thousand words.
Right across the road were the sand dunes that R2-D2 and C-3PO crash landed on. Jared and I caught a camel ride to the dunes and wandered around a bit. The dunes seemed bigger in the movie and I'm not sure if they have broken up over the years or maybe they just seem larger on film. While looking around, Jared found a small fiberglass piece of the Krayt Dragon that the film crew deserted in the desert decades ago. A Berber kid recognized it and led us to his house where he had more pieces. After bartering with the Berbers we left with four pieces of the beasts skeleton. While here I also collected another sample of sand.
After thanking and paying Hamida, we drove to Matmata and checked into the Sidi Driss hotel. This is the same hotel that was used for the interior of the Lars homestead. It was still early so we got back in the car and went to Jerba, which is a small island right off the coast. Tatooine was a barren desert world, but some of the scenes were filmed just feet from the sea. Ben Kenobi's house, the entrance to Mos Eisley, and the lost Anchorhead scenes were all shot on beachfront property. We had to ask for directions in the city of Ajim before we were able to find the inside of Mos Eisley. All of the city scenes were filmed in a small area so all you have to do is look round at different angles to see them. The city has changed a lot since the seventies, but many things are still very recognizable. One thing that was completely obvious was the cantina. It is in the center of the street and other then some garbage heaped up it looks exactly the same as it used to. Even a fiberglass dome used as set decoration was still just lying there after all of these years.