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Ajim

OVERVIEW

Site: Ajim neighborhood (Al-Hunit Mosque district)

GPS: 33.723964, 10.750016

Location: Ajim city center (Médenine Governorate) / Djerba island (Tunisia)

Description: Bakery (abandoned) square two side streets 

Film: Episode IV

Set construction start: Mid-February 1976

Production: 2-3 April 1976

Film sets:
Mos Eisley Cantina (exterior)
Mos Eisley square
Mos Eisley security checkpoint

Leads on set:
Alec  Guinness / Obi-Wan Kenobi
Mark Hamill / Luke Skywalker
Anthony Daniels / See Threepio (C-3PO)
Kenny Baker / Artoo Detoo (R2-D2)
Anthony Forrest / stormtrooper, patrol lead
Jack Purvis / robot
Peter Diamond (stunt supervisor) / cantina patron

Scenes:
48 [Ben: “These are not the droids you’re looking for”] — Filmed: 2 April 1976
49 [In Luke’s landspeeder, they approach cantina] — Filmed: 3 April 1976
59 [Mos Eisley: stormtroopers watch Millennium Falcon blast off] —  Filmed: 2 April 1976
A50 [Ben tells Luke he’ll have to sell his landspeeder] Filmed: 3 April 1976
ZA50 [Droids in front of cantina] — Filmed: 3 April 1976
Final cut: 5
Deleted: 0

Party: Cast/crew celebrated Alec Guinness’ 62nd birthday on set in Ajim (2 April 1976). 

Controversy: Location shoot limitations in Ajim restricted the overall vision for Mos Eisley, prompting The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition revisions decades later and the enduring “original version” debate coupled with the #ReleaseTheOriginalTrilogy campaign. 

Modernization: Community-wide construction/improvement projects in addition to ownership neglect have altered, replaced, or left derelict almost all film site reference points in the Ajim neighborhood.

Accessibility: Very easy; flat terrain; paved roads; parking area (33.723813, 10.750087) directly at the site.

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Gour Beni Mzab

OVERVIEW

Site: Gour Beni Mzab dune system

GPS: ~33.871125, 7.759225

Location: Nefta dunes area (Tozeur Governorate) / Southwest Tunisia

Description: Linear dunes surrounded by desert vegetation

Film: Episode IV

Set construction start: Late March 1976

Production: 24-25 March 1976

Film sets:
Dune sea lifepod crash site
Dune sea krayt dragon skeleton

Leads on set:
Anthony Daniels / See Threepio (C-3PO)
Kenny Baker / Artoo Detoo (R2-D2)

Scenes:
14 [C-3PO and R2-D2 argue about which way to go] — Filmed: 24-25 March 1976
15 [C-3PO and bleached bones of beast]  Filmed: 24 March 1976
B32 [Stormtroopers find evidence of droids]  Filmed: 25 March 1976
Final cut: 3
Deleted: 0

Shifting sands: Only Star Wars film site in Tunisia rendered nearly impossible to precisely pinpoint due to the ever-changing landscape. Additional field work, guided by primary source maps, is needed to refine the search for more exact coordinates.

Accessibility: Intermediate; desert terrain; paved roads lead to dune system turn-off point (33.865623, 7.778686); 4×4 vehicle, off-road motorcycle, camel, or trek by foot required; impeded by heavy rainfall; non-mechanical transport is best to avoid damage to the natural landscape.