INTRODUCTION
Matmata - ANH Lars' Homestead interior shots Jerba - ANH Mos Eisley and Anchorhead scenes The Ksour - TPM slave quarter scenes The Jerid - ANH Jundland Wastes, Dune Sea & Lars Exterior/TPM Mos Espa scenes

My trip to Tunisia began in the summer of 1999 when I finally persuaded my wife than we needed a holiday and that Tunisia in November would be a restful and cheap destination. I assured her that I'd always wanted to go there but she knew that I had ulterior motives. She was kind enough to let me think that I was kidding her - she's no dummy and knew exactly what countries George Lucas had filmed his Star Wars trilogy in.

But long before we booked the trip I had to make plans for the whole expdeition - there'd be no way my wife would accompany me if she didn't think I had every last eventuality planned for. And this is what I did. I worked out the precise location of every Star Wars site in the country with help from Lionel and Gus, the best routes to the nearest kilometres, time scales and logistics.

By the end of September all the best laid plans of mice and men were set in place. The holiday was booked, my local contact had been alerted to my imminent arrival and we'd both had our typhoid and polio innoculations.

The seventh of November finally arrived. We boarded out plane, strapped ourselves in and took off. From this point on we were on our own Indy-esque adventure (in my mind I could see the route our plan was taking us marked as a red line moving across the Mediterranean). The flight was short and we were soon in Monastir, the closest international airport to our resort hotel. After picking up our baggage and scrambling onto the right bus, we were on our way to our home-from-home for the next 2 weeks.

My wife and I spent the first few days acclimatising - if truth be told we really spent the first week indoors because it was either raining, hailing or blowing a gale. Tunisia isn't the warmest place in November, let me tell you. The poor weather actually helped to encourage my wife's flagging spirits about the whole Star Wars safari. She was keen to get away from the coast and head inland where the temperatures would be warmer and the rain clouds scarcer, so we went ahead and booked our hire car. Unfortunately there weren't any Sorosuub XP-38s to be had so we settled with a VW Polo. (Looking back we really should have hung out for a Sorosuub V-35 - at least they have air-conditioning!) The night before the big day loomed and my wife was beginning to get butterflies. A quick phonecall home to her folks settled her nerves.

The next day dawned - and promised to be as overcast as the rest had been. Realising that we woudln't miss any sun-tanning weather we jumped into the Polo and were off! Not really off though, because I had to spend the first half hour getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road and watching out for mad Tunisian motorists. Then we were off and our rate of progress soon improved as I got my confidence. My bubble of invincibility was shattered two hours (and only 150 km) later when I roared through a pothole at 115 kmph (75 mph) and tore our front tyre to shreds. After a wheel change and a sound rebuttle from the missus we were off again. This time at a more sedate pace.

It turned out to be a long day. A quick stop at the Roman arena in El Jem, where Monty Python's "The Life of Brian" was filmed, turned into an hours break. Then back onto the road and, after a further three hours driving, we eventually made it to the ferry terminal at Jorf (four hours late) just in time to miss the boat, giving us a chance to have a rest and stretch our legs. Half an hour later we were driving through the small town of Ajim on the verge of visiting our first Star Wars location.

And at the start of fulfilling a life time dream...

onto NEXT location

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