(This document originally appeared in the NewsFlash section of the site.)

by Francis LaLumiere

May 16 1997 - This is the first in a short series of articles retelling the highlights of our World Championship Grand Prize, a visit to Tunisia, North Africa - to see, hear and taste in every possible way the locations used to shoot Star Wars twenty years ago . . .

Let's start with getting acquainted with our Star Wars CCG fellow travellers. There were eight of us: Captain of the expedition and guide extraordinaire David West Reynolds and his wife Ann, World Champion Raphael Asselin and his friend Amelie St-Onge, myself (Francis Lalumiere) and my dear friend France-Andree Lafreniere. We were joined in London by Star Wars Insider Editor Jon Bradley Snyder and his friend Julie Palsmeier.

Our team of explorers just got back from Tatooine, and slipping back into our real lives - and our real world - was quite a shock (makes time lag taste like candy). Even though we were gone for a total of 10 days, the first two and last two days were spent entirely in planes, so we'll consider May 3rd to be the very first day of the Tatooine expedition . . .

Tatooine Memories - Day 1
From the Trip Diary of Francis LaLumiere

--- May 03, 1997---

There were no Star Wars locations to visit on this first day, but we did get a good look at the Tunisian landscape. Desert as far as the eye can see can be quite awe inspiring. We got to visit the ruins of several ancient cities torn to pieces by rain storms several decades ago: Mides, Tamerza and a couple of others. These beautiful and mysterious sites indicated without doubt that we were indeed on another planet.

Given the fact that I regularly turned into a French interpreter for David, he started calling me C-3PO. We would get a few good laughs out of this one - and several other Star Wars quotes and inside jokes - during our journey. And had I not worn sunblock (power 30!) at all times, the Sahara sun would even have bestowed a golden finish upon myself, making me look more and more like our favorite protocol droid.

It is on this first day that David also introduced us to the wonders of the GPS (Global Positioning System), a small device that uses satellites as anchor points in order to pinpoint your exact location anywhere on the surface of the Earth. This technological wonder would prove quite helpful in the days to come!

Francis Lalumiere - Gold 28

T Minus 2.5 Weeks - April 17 1997
T Minus 8 Days and Counting! - April 25 1997
Beginning the Journey - May 01, 1997
Journey to Tatooine - May 16 1997
Journey to Tatooine - May 19 1997
Journey to Tatooine - May 21 1997
Journey to Tatooine - May 23 1997
Journey to Tatooine - May 27 1997
A Journey Remembered - June 20 1997

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