Photographs by
Jon Levy

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Mos Espa exists by name only in fiction, for it is the Space Port on the Planet Tattooine as depicted in the now released Star Wars Phantom Menace movie: a stone-like papier-mâché village of one street surrounded by kilometres of lunar landscape with 30 metre golden sand dunes, where the nomadic bedouin tribespeople and their camels roam. Locally the region is known as the Camel's Head, named after a nearby similarly shaped sandstone formation.
The dunes of the Sahara and rocky desert landscape, accessible in Tunisia via good roads and a domestic
airport in Tozeur, have regularly appeared as a backdrop for the celluloid sets of U.S. and European film makers; The English Patient, Indiana Jones, and Jesus of Nazareth to name a few. In strict accordance with CTV, the Tunisian Film bureau, movies come and go regularly in this part of the world. The fact that Mos Espa is still standing is due in part to the huge popularity of the Star Wars movies, locally called La Guerre Etoile, and what the Tunisian tourist board sees as a unique opportunity for business.