Site: Chott el-Djerid (northwest sector)
GPS: 33.842831, 7.779026
Location: Salt flats between the Kebili and Tozeur governorates / Southwest Tunisia
Description: Saline dry lake (ca. 5900 km²), largest in the Sahara
Star Wars films:
Episode IV — A New Hope (1977)
Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Set construction start: Mid-February 1976 / early August 2000 / early August 2000
Production: 22-23, 25, 29 March 1976 / 7, 9 September 2000 / 7 September 2000
Star Wars location | Film set:
Great Chott Salt Flats | Lars Homestead (exterior)
Leads on set: Episode II
Hayden Christensen / Anakin Skywalker
Natalie Portman / Padmé Amidala Naberrie
Anthony Daniels / See Threepio (C-3PO)
Jack Thompson / Cliegg Lars
Joel Edgerton / Owen Lars
Bonnie Maree Piesse / Beru Whitesun
Leads on set: Episode III
Joel Edgerton / Owen Lars
Scenes: Episode IV
3 [Luke in wasteland with droid that malfunctions] <deleted> — Filmed: 25, 29 March 1976
26 [Purchase of C-3PO and R2-D2] — Filmed: 22-23, 25 March 1976
29 [Luke and giant twin suns] — Filmed: 29 March 1976
B29 [Luke and C-3PO rush out of homestead to look for R2-D2] — Filmed: 22, 29 March 1976
C42 [Luke discovers dead aunt and uncle] — Filmed: 25 March 1976
Final cut: 4
Scenes: Episode II
88 [They land near the homestead] — Filmed: 9 September 2000
89 [C-3PO greets Anakin and Padmé] — Filmed: 9 September 2000
90 [Anakin meets the Lars family] — Filmed: 9 September 2000
93 [Anakin takes off on Owen’s speeder bike] — Filmed: 9 September 2000
97 [Anakin talks to the Jawas] <replaced> — Filmed: 7 September 2000
98 [Anakin finds the bodies of the search party] <deleted> — Filmed: 7 September 2000
100 [Night animal howls near homestead] <deleted> — Filmed: 7 September 2000
115 [Beru draws water] <deleted> — Filmed: 9 September 2000
117 [Anakin returns with Shmi] — Filmed: 9 September 2000
131 [The funeral of Shmi] — Filmed: 9 September 2000
133 [Lars family waves goodbye] <deleted> – Filmed: 9 September 2000
Final cut: 6
Historic: First-ever Star Wars franchise filming location.
Starkiller: At the point of filming Mark Hamill’s introductory scenes on the salt flats, his heroic character was named “Luke Starkiller” (shooting script).
Sunset: After at least three failed attempts, the original iconic “binary” sunset over the salt flats was filmed with a cloudless light purple skyline shortly before sunset at 18:47 on 29 March 1976.
Blueprint: Three-pit layout of the Lars Homestead exterior set on the salt flats loosely mirrors the spatial proximity of pits 1-3 at Hotel Sidi Idriss (Matmata al-Qadimal), located 265 km to the east.
Record: Only film site in Tunisia featured in three Star Wars franchise films.
Overlap: Only live-action (with actors) non-studio Episode III filming location, utilized on the first day of Episode II filming in Tunisia, 34 months before the start of Episode III principal photography.
Tandem: George Lucas and Anthony Daniels were the only cast/crew members present on Chott el-Djerid for production activity across all three films.
Dome: Homestead dome—cradle of the Star Wars universe—has been built/rebuilt/repaired/restored on six separate occasions spanning from 1976 to 2022: (1) Lucasfilm initial build (February 1976), (2) Lucasfilm mid-production repairs after violent storm (28-29 March 1976), (3) Lucasfilm prequels rebuild (August 2000), (4) Save Lars fan-funded restoration (28-31 May 2012), (5) Discover Tatooine fan-funded restoration (28 April 2018), and (6) Star Wars Tunisia GIZ-funded restoration (May 2022).
Craters: Star Wars Tunisia film site restoration project (May 2022) leveled all three original Episode IV craters; replaced the (1) living quarters crater with a more compact, fortified circle (complete with flood-control piping) and (2) garage crater with a raised circular platform to display the repaired/reconstructed Episode II garage cover wooden base; but failed to restore the hangar crater, limiting the set to a two-crater layout.
Accessibility: Easy; salt flats terrain; paved roads lead to salt flats turn-off point (33.866280, 7.780087); 4×4 vehicle advantageous, but not necessary; impeded by heavy rainfall; unrestricted parking surrounding the site.