SW RECCE SITE FOUND: ABU MISWAR MOSQUE
6 March 2021
Continuing the effort to identify all Star Wars franchise scouted sites in Tunisia, Galaxy Tours CEO (Davin Anderson) in close cooperation with Djerban heritage expert Marwen Ben Brahim discovered on 6 March 2021 a “lost” Star Wars scouted site in Hachan on Djerba island. The search to identify Abu Miswar Mosque as a franchise recce site spanned more than 12 months.
Site: Abu Miswar Mosque
Location: Hachan (outskirts)
GPS: 33.862203, 10.821254
Description: Ibadi complex (late 9th century CE)
Potential Star Wars set concept: Tosche Station (exterior)
A series of six known recce photographs, taken by John Barry (production designer) during the mid-November 1975 Star Wars location scout in Tunisia, led to this discovery. Most of Barry’s photos were shot inside the Abu Miswar Mosque complex from the northeast corner area near the primary entrance. One photo depicting the perimeter exterior was taken southeast of the complex.
The first Tunisia-specific shooting schedule for “The Star Wars” was drafted on 27 November 1975, approximately two weeks after the location scout. This early version lists a “mosque near Mellita, Djerba” as the location for “Anchorhead power station” exterior scenes. Abu Miswar Mosque is located less than 2 km east of Mellita, while Sidi Jemour Mosque—the site eventually chosen for Tosche Station production—is situated in an isolated position along the Djerban western coast some 7 km southwest of Mellita. This geographic context strongly suggests that Abu Miswar Mosque was initially envisioned to be the fictional power station hangout. The decision to film Tosche Station scenes at Sidi Jemour Mosque (rather than Abu Miswar Mosque) was likely made in late January/early February 1976.
Djerban authorities have designated Abu Miswar Mosque as an essential cultural heritage landmark with funds appropriated to ensure periodic upkeep. The entire complex—open to visitors—remains distinctly recognizable, offering clear reference points to line up Barry’s recce photos.