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MOS ESPA
Still with the right feeling
Mos Espa, Tunisia


Mos Espa, Tunisia

This appears to be a pod used in the shooting of the film.

Mos Espa, Tunisia


There are several places in Tunisia which have been used for the making of the Star Wars movies. The landscape and the Berber architecture has inspired George Lucas in many ways.
When making scenes from Mos Espa for The Phantom Menace he may have run out of ready-made locations, and created his own city scenes here instead.
Ten years on, the place in so good condition that it attracts a high number visitors from Tozeur every day. They drive across rugged desert tracks in 4WDs, and cross a couple of sand dunes to get into the mood of desert travelling. The tracks were actually made for the shooting of another grand movie, The English Patient.
The site of Mos Espa consists of 15-20 buildings, of which some are only facades. Four satellite readers or something still stands, and there is even a blue pod beneath the houses.
Mos Espa will not survive many decades, the disintegration has since long begun. Pieces are falling off, and the chicken wire and the pieces of wood holding it together are revealed. Yet, it is all impressively well-preserved. And if you're lucky to behold it without many tourists around you, you will get the right feeling.

Mos Espa, Tunisia

Practicalities
Your tour arranger will provide you with what you need. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are sold at a handful of basic shops at Onk Jemal and at another spot of unusual rock formations half way to Mos Espa. These also sell souvenirs, of which most are transported out here from Tozeur.
You can get out here by both 4WDs, quads (motorbikes with 4 wheels) or even a normal car. The latter, which I did, will involve crossing road sections which are covered with sand, and then you will need someone to push your car.
Onk Jemal is about 18 km from Nefta and 38 km from Tozeur, of which 25 km is rough piste. Onk Jemal lies about 2 km away.




By Tore Kjeilen