LARS OWEN FARM, Interior Views
It was in Matmata, a village 300 kilometers away of the exterior desert scenes, that the interior views of Lars Owen's farm were shot. The Matmata habitations are unique because they are dug out of the ground and shaped like a shaft with lateral rooms. That distinct design characteristic is a defence against the natural heat of the desert, assuring there will be a constant, bearable temperature in the habitation at any season during the year.
George Lucas chose Sidi Dris hotel as a natural set and adorned it with different futuristic accessories. "The hotel was larger than a common troglodyte home, but still very typical to the local styl", he said about it once in an interview.
Aerial view of Matmata
Aerial view of Sidi Driss hotel
The hotel is an interesting site to visit because it has not changed much since the movie was filmed. Other than the fact that the futurist accessories and robots are gone, the place remains relatively intact. Wandering inside the hotel is like being in the world of the movie itself. I appreciated the quietness of the place, filled with restful freshness. Sidi Dris hotel has also an excellent restaurant.
Lars Owen Farm, 1976 Same place, 1997
Dinning room, 1976 Same place, 1997
Interior yard (in 1976 and in 1997) :
Though not used in the filming, some rooms and the architecture of the hotel have inspired designers for other sets of the Lars homestead. For exemple the arrangement of the various shafts in the exterior scene, the room where C3PO takes his oil bath, and the Aunt Beru's kitchen adjoining the dining room (comparative pictures are below).
|Aunt Beru's kitchen, 1976|
|Sidi Driss hotel room, 1997|
Some elements of the Star Wars sets remain : the futuristic look of the dinning room is an example ...
... as well as the one of the interior yard.
The Lars dining room fresco used to be covered with many quick lime layers applied by the owner for years. In 1995, Philip Vanni, inveterate fan, restored it all by scratching the lime and drawing the motives back with a brush.
Philip found back a door casing from the 1976 original setting.