Like every child of the 80’s, I’ve seen the original Star Wars movies more times than I can count.
My favorite has always been the original Star Wars and one of the scenes I’ll always remember seeing for the first time is Luke on his home planet of Tatooine as he walked out of that little white igloo hut.
I must admit, I never really thought about what happened to some of the location sets (Tatooine, Hoth, Dagobah) after the movies finished filming.
Apparently, they were simply abandoned. This was certainly the case with the iconic Tatooine location used for Luke Skywalker’s moisture farm. The set was located in the Tunisian desert outside of an ancient village known as Tataouine. The similarities between the name of the planet in Star Wars and the actual name of the village are certainly not coincidence.
Interestingly enough, the Tatooine set has been in the desert all these decades – simply rotting away to nothing.
That is, until Star Wars super fan Terry Cooper decided to take it upon himself to repair the dilapidated set and went to work raising money for the project. Over the span of about a year, Cooper managed to raise $11,700 along with volunteers to assist in the reconstruction of the set.
“It’s the most iconic scene of all six Star Wars movies,” 42-year-old Welsh superfan Cooper told ‘Wales Tonight,’ a program on TV station iTV.
“And knowing that that place does exist, in a real place on Earth, that’s free to go and see … it’s something that we thought it would be a shame if this ended up as just a faceless ditch in the desert one day.”
The team went to the Tunisian desert with help from local craftsmen and repaired the set over six days back to its original glory. The igloo shaped hut from the film was repaired with wood, while the original props designed by Lucas and his team left in the desert to rot were reused. The finished product looks identical to the set from the original film.
“When you get your camera out, the first thing you want to do is stand on the ridge of the crater and look off to the horizon and just think, this is the actual spot where, 35 years ago, the film was actually made,” he added.