abandoned star wars film sets in the tunisian desert by ra di martino abandoned star wars film sets in the tunisian desert by ra di martino
may 13, 2013

abandoned star wars film sets in the tunisian desert by ra di martino

abandoned star wars film sets in the tunisian desert‘no more stars’33°50’34 n 7°46’44 E chot el-gharsa, tunisia, 2010 image © ra di martino



after spending over a month traveling around chott el djerid in tunisia, new york-based visual artist and filmmaker rä di martino has taken a series of photographs that capture scenes of abandoned star wars film sets. titled ‘no more stars,’ the images of her collection showcase the backdrop of luke skywalker’s home on the fictional desert planet tatooine. because the props were constructed out of mud, cement, MDF and aluminum, the particular hot and dry climate has helped keep many parts of the sets intact, or buried under the sand. after years of deterioration, the remains seem to appear like ancient ruins and archeological sites.



‘no more stars ‘33°50’34 n 7°46’44 E chot el-gharsa, tunisia, 2010 image © ra di martino



no more stars 33°59’39 N 7°50’34E chot el-gharsa, tunisia, 2010



no more stars 33°59’39 N 7°50’34E chot el-gharsa, tunisia, 2010



no more stars 33°59’42 N 7°51’00E chot el-gharsa, tunisia, 2010




  • How is it that the film company was not required to remove these sets when they were finished. It is a travesty that the litter is still there all these many years later

    Richard says:
  • Dude…They bribed local sultan for a truck of lucky strikes or shit 😀

    Alex says:
  • Great photos! We also visited Tunisia for a cross-country trip with stop-offs at many of the film locations used in the saga. Our 2011 book “Stars of the Desert” takes readers along the way – from the beautiful island of Djerba (site of the “Mos Eisley Cantina”), spend a night underground at “Luke Skywalker’s home” in Matmata, glide across the Chott el-Jerid salt flat desert and journey to the completely in-tact city of “Mos Espa.” And that’s just for starters! Included in the book are a series of stunning photographs and informative insider tips for future trekkers who may be inspired to pack their own bags. You can find the book on Blurb, and our accompanying videos on our “Set of Drifters” YouTube channel. Enjoy!

    Brady says:
  • I would think that some people would pay a lot to have a chunk of the starwars film set..

    morgan says:
  • i guess these are our generations equivalent of the pyramids…. our cultures gift to generations to come.
    quite moving, innit.

    nicey says:
  • @richard this was in the 70s, and it was basically considered an indie film, i don’t think anyone gave a crap about litter or anything back then.

    Morlock says:
  • Impressive, Most Impressive

    efs says:
  • Surprised the Tunisian tourist board haven’t capitalised on this “gift” from Lucasfilm: with a bit of additional work they’ve got a ready made tourist attraction of the most successful film of all time.
    Litter? Come come 😉

    Moontan says:
  • @Moontan, not to rain on your parade, but star wars is far from the most successful film of all time. you’re probably still living in the 70s. in fact its not even in the top 25.

    Alex says:
  • You’re right, It’s second according to box office mojo after adjusting for inflation. Gone With The Wind is first, Alex, but that was before the turn-of-the-century as well so we’ll forgive you. Parade intact, Moontan!

    camper says:
  • To those people concerned about the ‘travesty of litter’ you should understand that Tunisia is more than happy that this stuff was actually left. It has been, and will continue to be, a great source of income generations via tourism.

    I’ve been to a few of them and they are out in the middle of absolutely no-where – a long drive on 4 x 4s over sand dunes, not roads, to find.

    They’re very happy they remain, otherwise they would (of course) have had them removed by now. Remember also that one of those sets was from Episode 1, filmed decades after the first one. Again, if they had wanted the sets removed, they would have easily had their wish granted. Instead, they have a well visited tourist attraction.

    Doesn’t bode very well for some of you peoples ability to spot a source of revenue does it! 🙂

    David says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news