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

by Francis LaLumiere

May 21 1997 - This is day 3 in a 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 . . .

Tatooine Memories - Day 3
From the Trip Diary of Francis LaLumiere

--- May 05, 1997---

Day three was "Landrover Day." We drove for hours across the dried lake bed, the Chott, in order to reach our destination of Matmata, a city in Tunisia's southern half. We stopped along the way to hop onto camels and ride around in the desert. But of course, in our minds the camels were transformed into Tauntauns, our turbans and sunglasses into Hoth survival gear...

After a few hours drive through the Chott, and having discovered that mirages do exist and can make for a startling sight in the desert landscape, we finally reached our destination: the underground ("Troglodyte") Hotel Siddi Driss, which is in the Star Wars movie the Lar's Homestead. We almost jumped out of the Landrover before it came to a stop. David took us to the edge of the pit, insisting that we see the hotel from above first. He didn't have to insist a lot.

The view was breathtaking because so little had changed. Granted, the vaporator wasn't there anymore and most of the set dressing was gone too, but the Lucasfilm crew had not modified the basic structure at all, so everything looked just right. We half expected Aunt Beru to step from inside, looking for Luke.

Looking around the inside of the Lar's homestead was quite an experience too, and upon walking into the courtyard for the first time I couldn't resist calling out : "Luke! Luuuuuuuuuke!" We then went on to discover the rest of the homestead, which is much larger that what's shown in the movie.

Half of our trip had gone by - things move fast on Tatooine. But we already had enough memories to last for two lifetimes.

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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