The Jundland Wastes

 

The "Star Wars Canyon", so called by Lucasfilm members, is known locally for its proximity with Sidi Bouhlel's "marabout", place of prayer and contemplation, not far from Tozeur. Geographically, the canyon is so neat and steep that it seems to have been craved out with a giant axe :  the entrance is narrow but as one proceeds though the walls widen. The beauty of the site is impressive : colors turn from orange to pink according from moment the moment during the day.

The so-called "Star War Canyon" has also been used for other film productions such as "Raiders Of The Lost Arch" and, more recently, "The English Patient". It is also not unusual to meet fashion photography teams who take advantage of the exceptional lighting of the place. Lots of shots of the movie can be identified.

 

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R2R2 attacked by Jawas, 1976

Here is the rock in the Canyon entrance, which witnessed R2D2's capture by Jawas.

 

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Same place, 1997

The morphology of stones and the sand have not changed at all. It is like if the Star Wars filming occured yesterday.

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R2D2 attacked by Jawas, 1976 rock4.jpg (42696 octets)
Same place, 1997 rock3.jpg (17380 octets)

 

Sandpeople, 1976

Another scene, a sandperson aims at the landspeeder at full speed on the Jundland Wastes.

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Same place, 1997

It is actually one of the two sides of the canyon, the other being the place of the Sandcrawler, shown below. Note that the sandperson's position is only a few meters from Mos Eisley observatory.

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R2D2 found back, 1976

Luke and C3PO find R2D2 as he attempts to run away.

Consider the area behind Luke, the cliff in the background, is very characteristic of  the Star Wars Canyon.

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Same place, 1997

The cliff is still there. It is the observation post of Mos Eisley.

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Luke attacked, 1976

 

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Same place, 1997

The picture shows the characteristic of the wall in the background. The lonely rock at the bottom end in the center is the place were Luke stayed.

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Unconscious, Luke lies on the ground while the sandpeople are occupied with the Landspeeder. R2D2 observes hidden. Later on, Obi Wan Kenobi intervenes. Luke and Ben begin to chat. The location of that scene remains completely intact - not a stone has moved ! Just a few grass tufts grew over the twenty years period.

Luke saved by Ben, 1976

Same place, 1997

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Here is finally the post I mentioned earlier. It is located on top of the peak presented on the pictures above and is accessible from a path on the left cliff. As you pass through you'll come across the marabout and  the holy man living there, who perfectly recalls the film from 20 years ago. "I had no white hair at the time", he said to me ! He told me that the very cliff used in the movie and its surroundings were the site of an important city in the last century. It was abandoned, demolished and reconstructed some kilometers ahead by a palm grove. But back to Star Wars site, the breathtaking panorama gives no view of Mos Eisley but displays the immensity of the canyon. All the related sites are visible farther.

Observation post , 1976

 

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Same place, 1997

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Last site, but not least. Before the entrance of the canyon is a gigantic quarry which acted as the setting of the Sandcrawler encounter where Ben, Luke, the droids discover the corpses of the Jawas that were annihilated by the Impire's Stormtroopers. It is possible to make your way out by looking at the making-of picture, top left. In the movie photograph, it is clear that the road to the canyon on the right hasn't changed.

The Sandcrawler, 1976 (above) / 1997 (below)

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