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Tuesday, November 13 2018 @ 10:48 AM PST

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Tunisia set rebuilding

Star Wars stories

The Star Wars sets in Tunisia are being rebuilt. It seems most likely that it is being done solely for tourism purposes but its still nice to see that they aren't going to allow the locations to be swallowed by the desert.

In an article in L'Expression by Abdelkrim Gabous last December - Le Sud, Hollywood du Maghreb
Plus see scans of the original article with larger photos - Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4
The original article is in French but you can see a rough English translation here.

Today, the settings are being restored by their own builder, Tayeb Jallouli, with the same workers.

 In another article in The National by Suleman Din he mentions coming across workers at the Mos Espa set on a recent trip. - Star Wars nostalgia in southern Tunisia

The surprise for us, though, was that we found it bustling with activity. A number of labourers were renovating, repainting and building new buildings. Ironically, the effort to build these alien structures was done in a very human way; one man applied plaster with his bare hands, others sat and smoked in the shade of an alien hall.

One worker who spoke English, Farouk Ben Ibrahim, came forward to explain. Renovations began back in December, he said, after an Italian film producer contracted locals. "He gives us money, and we fix it," Ibrahim said. "He said there is another part of Star Wars filming here. In the summer, maybe."

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Redwoods updates

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This is old news by now but it is something that I recently found out about. Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, home of the Owen R Cheatham Grove where the speeder bike chase sequence was filmed in ROTJ, came close to being shutdown and is still in jeopardy for the future.

On January 10, 2008 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released the proposed FY 08-09 state budget that proposed to close 48 state parks. You can read more about it at the California State Parks Foundation.

The parks were saved from the chopping block later in the year as seen reported on the Save Our State Parks Campaign website and The Times-Standard of Eureka, CA.
”The Legislature's passage of a final state budget avoids the closure of California's state parks - at least for this year... . But the story isn't over. Unfortunately, this budget leaves our parks vulnerable to another uncertain fate next year.”

In other more positive news, Kelley Atherton at The Daily Triplicate wrote an excellent 3 part series about the filming that took place at the Smith River location.

In Focus: Episode I: Movie making
'Jedi' memories: Episode II: Locals look back
Location, location, Episode III: Promoting ourselves

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ANH - updated

Star Wars stories

In 2004, my girlfriend and I made a tour through Mexico. We crossed the country from Mexico City to Cancun, visiting tens of ancient Maya sites. We extended our vacation with a trip to Yavin IV, aka Tikal - Guatemala.

We didn't stop there. We have successfully travelled to Middle Earth and The Matrix.

Movie Set Locations.net

--  UPDATE  --

My Star Wars : A New Hope page has been updated with lots of Tunisia set photos and movie reference pictures. With many thanks to Mark Dermul, who organized 3 Trips to Tatooine (Tunisia).


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A visit to Sevilla, Spain

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In Sevilla, Spain (or Seville for you Anglophiles), you will find the Plaza de Espana, a location seen in Attack of the Clones. While it was only in the film for a few moments, you may explore the site at your leisure, and it's completely free!

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Star Wars trek: Whippendell Woods - November 2001

Star Wars stories

One of my big disappointments in my 1999 Star Wars trek was not finding the right spot at Whippendell Woods. We managed to find the woods but ended up just walking by all of the filming locations. I guess we never guessed how hard it was going to be to find one specific tree in the middle of the forest. Plus the pond that they swam into in the movie doesn’t really exist and we had walked about an hour looking for it before finally coming out at Cassiobury Park and realizing that we were never going to find it. So when a friend of mine said he was going to London for some autograph hunting I jumped at the chance to join him and take another crack at Whippendell Woods.

Read More.
1999 trip pictures.
2001 trip pictures.
Reference pictures.

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Star Wars trek: Death Valley - April 2001

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The Star Wars Road Trip article in Star Wars Insider back in 1999 got a lot of people interested in Star Wars filming locations. For those of us in California it also made a trip to one of these locations much more feasible. You didn't have to travel thousands of miles to Tunisia or Norway. There are great places right here in our backyard and the best one has to be Death Valley. There are quite a few locations to see there and most are very easy to find. You can even do the trip in a day if you get there early, but its best to stay a night at a hotel or camp out.

Read More.
2001 trip pictures.
Reference pictures.

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Star Wars trek: Tikal, Guatemala - April 2004

Star Wars stories

Tikal National Park in Guatemala was used for a small scene showing the rebel base on the jungle moon of Yavin 4 in Star Wars: A New Hope. It is an easy location to find and a very popular tourist destination but I don't think very many Star Wars location hunters make the trip. I probably would have never made it myself but it turns out my wife is from Guatemala and I found out she had never visited Tikal so we planned a little side trip after visiting family.

Read More.
2004 trip pictures.
Reference pictures.
2000 cousin's trip pictures.

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Google Earth

Star Wars stories

This is my first attempt at creating a Google Earth KML file. It includes locations from Star Wars and George Lucas' life. Please leave a comment if check it out and I'd really appreciate any feedback you might have. I have some ideas for updating the file in the future also. I'd like to add more information to the descriptions and use html to include links and images. If you have any corrections or suggestions, let me know.

Thanks to everyone that helped contribute parts of this file. Colin Kenworthy for Tunisia, Norway, and the U.K. Jeroen Swanborn for Italy (Lake Como). Mike and Angela Rush for Whippendell Woods. Their input made this whole project possible. Thanks again.


UPDATE: You can find the most up to date KML file on the World Map page.

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Sandcrawler Model Photo Correction

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Hi All,

This is my first post in the week that I've known about this web site. You all are doing a bang-up job documenting SW sites! My hat is off to you!

Anyway, on the left are 2 sandcrawler model pictures on the site.
My impression is that they've been posted so that the mountains can be used to locate where the sandcrawler model was shot. However, as some of you might already know, the picture is useless as a location guide. Since nobody has commented on it yet (as far as I can tell), I'll tell you why:

According to the book "Sculpting a Galaxy" by ILM sfx guru Lorne Peterson (pp. 76-78), that scene was shot for the 1997 Special Edition version of ANH. It was done on the roof of ILM in northern California. The mountains are fakes sculpted just for the scene. It actually replaces real scenery in this shot below.
Peterson's book gives the original model filming site as a dry lakebed near Randsburg, California.

I hope this helps solve one mystery,


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Colin's Finse trip part 2 - April 2007

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Colin Kenworthy recently returned from his second trip to Finse and sent in a GPS map and a Google Earth KML file of the Hoth locations. He was traveling with a large group headed by Mark Dermul and a film crew for The Force Among Us being made by Cristian Macht. Mark's site covers the trip really well so you can read more about it there. Plus, The Force Among Us is available for pre-order and should have some great footage of the Finse and Tunisia locations.

Heading for Hoth - Mark Dermul
The Force Among Us - Cristian Macht
Google Earth KML file - Finse, Norway

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