2001

7 February - TheForce.Net has posted a report that a "concrete village" in Tunisia has suffered from fire damage - apparently as part of the storyline for Episode 2. The full report can be read here. [This is the first that Tataouine Tours has heard of this, despite numerous location reports provided by travellers who have visited Tunisia recently. Perhaps this is not the Mos Espa set? I'll admit that this is an unlikely explanation - has anyone got any better ideas?]

5 February - A brief phone call to Agence Nomades, in Tozeur, has tipped us off that they are expecting LFL location scouts to return to the area at the end of 2001 to look for new locations for Episode 3. They also told us that an Episode 3 filming crew is expected to be in Tunisia in 2002. [With all the reports of scenes and sets already been filmed for Episode 3 in Sydney, does this mean that George Lucas is filming the last two Star Wars movies back-to-back?]

3 February - A bit late, but the official Star Wars site has posted On Location 27. In it Ahmed Best interviews Anthony Daniels (puppeteer, voice and actor who portrays C-3PO) at the Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata. A great deal of details of the Episode 2's Lars' Homestead - interior set can be seen in the background.

24 January - We have just been in touch with the Tunisian tourist office in London, and discovered the following:

The Mos Espa set has been expanded with several more houses, and has been redecorated to look more affluent.

The set decorations at Hotel Sidi Driss have been taken down (as of late September, 2000). I have had two separate reports confirming this.

Despite the report we posted on January 15, The Tunisian tourist office has heard through the grapevine that there will be reshoots in Tunisia. They have no idea how likely this will be or when they will happen. [To show how secretive LFL are, George Lucas only confirmed the E2 September schedule with the Tunisian government one week before they began shooting.]

15 January - After sending a number of faxes, Agence Nomades has replied with:

"Following your fax of the 11/01/01, we are pleased to inform you that:

A visit to the set of the film "Star Wars" is feasible all year round:

  • Tariffs: 3 TD/per person in a group and 5 TD/per person not in a group

  • Following our discussion with Mr. Taieb of CTV, there will be no film turning during March and April

  • It is prohibited to take photographs at the set

  • To make the excursion of Oung Jemel, you addresser at our Agency, our coordinated is as follows:
    Tel: 00 216 6 453423/429
    Fax: 00 216 6 453418

We remain at your disposal for all additional enquiries. 

Sincerely yours

Tahar El Osma "

Good news and bad news - the entrance fee to the Mos Espa set is nominal (UKú2.00/US$2.50) but you aren't allowed to take photographs. We still suggest that you make arrangements to visit the location through the ONTT in Tozeur.

3 January - Following up from our inquiry to CTV Services about the status of the Mos Espa set, we have just received a reply from them:

"Following your fax asking of information relating to the decoration of the film STAR WARS Tozeur I inform you that you must contact Mr Tahar OSMA which is the person in charge of the site. With him you will see the dates and the prices to pay to make visit the decoration."

Tataouine Tours is in touch with Mr Osma and will post any news we get, but if any of you want to contact him his address is:

Mr Tahar Osma
Agence NOMADES
Route Touristique
Tozeur
Tunisia
Tel: 00 216 6 453423
Fax: 00 216 6 453418