SW RECCE SITE CHECKED: CHEBIKA (RUINS)
8 July 2021
As part of the ongoing effort to identify all Star Wars franchise scouted sites in Tunisia, Galaxy Tours CEO (Davin Anderson) in close cooperation with Tataouine-based freelance photographer Mohamed Ghdiri verified on 8 July 2021 the approximate vantage point used by John Barry (production designer) to produce a recce sketch at ancient Chebika during the first Star Wars recce to Tunisia in mid-November 1975.
Site: Ancient Chebika
Location: Tozeur Governorate / Southwest Tunisia
GPS: 34.321577, 7.938975
Description: Ruins (Roman era)
Potential Star Wars set concept: Mos Eisley (various elements)
Barry produced sketches at various sites during the 1975 recce. One of the sketches contains a detailed caption that clearly identifies Chebika as the illustrated location: “CHEBIKA – in mountains near TOZEUR. Alternative town to AJIM – near salt flat location.” The distinctive multi-level mudbrick reinforcement wall located on the east edge of the Chebika ruins paired with identifiable elements of the buildings above the tiered wall are unmistakingly featured in Barry’s drawing.
Although post-1975 tourism developments (viewing platform, cafe, shops) on the south side of the ruins restrict the ability to exactly match the position Barry used at the site, standing near the northeast corner of the viewing platform allows visitors to approximate Barry’s vantage point for this conceptualized alternate Mos Eisley sketch.