Journey Beyond the Screen

Hotel Sidi Driss

Tunisia: Star WarsHotel Sidi Driss: Lars Homestead Interior

Location

The Hotel Sidi Driss lies in the small town of Matmata, which was basically unknown before Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope hit the theatres back in 1977. Add to that a second appearance in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, and you can imagine the impact this had on tourism numbers to the area. Many locals have since moved to a new settlement about 15 kilometres north called Nouvelle Matmata in order to escape the crowds.

Around 3,500 inhabitants still live in over 700 pit dwellings, many of which can be entered with a guide. In saying that, the Hotel Sidi Driss is open to the public and fans are welcome to have a look around. Don't be surprised, if you encounter a coach parked out front - tour operators have been including the location in their sightseeing portfolio for decades. Therefore, the best time to experience the hotel is to visit after 4pm, once the buses have left.

The entrance to the Hotel Sidi Driss. Steps lead down into the first of two pit dwellings, both of which are part of the hotel.

The entrance to the Hotel Sidi Driss. Steps lead down into the first of two pit dwellings, both of which are part of the hotel.

At the bottom of the steps, turning right takes you to...

...the pit dwelling used in the movies.

...and straight ahead you can visit the pit dwelling with the guest rooms.

The rooms are very basic (some people might call them even primitive), yet clean. And there are flush toilets.

 

Key Scenes

The first time this location appears on screen is in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. While Luke follows his uncle Owen to inspect some droids up for sale by a group of Jawas (including R2-D2 and C3PO), his aunt Beru calls out from the pit. Luke walks over and sees his aunt standing in the courtyard.

Beru: "Luke, tell Owen that if he gets a translator to be sure it speaks Bocce." Luke: "It looks like we don't have much of a choice, but I'll remind him."

Beru: "Luke, tell Owen that if he gets a translator to be sure it speaks Bocce." Luke: "It looks like we don't have much of a choice, but I'll remind him."

Later on, Luke joins his uncle and aunt for supper and starts a discussion about his intention to leave the farm and join the academy to become a space pilot. Yet once again, Owen does not like the idea and asks Luke to stay on for another harvesting season. As we all know, Luke's attempts to convince his uncle otherwise, remain unsuccessful.

Owen: "Harvest is when I need you the most. Only one more season. This year we'll make enough on the harvest so I'll be able to hire some more hands. And then you can go to the academy next year."

Owen: "Harvest is when I need you the most. Only one more season. This year we'll make enough on the harvest so I'll be able to hire some more hands. And then you can go to the academy next year."

In Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, a much younger Owen and Beru welcome Anakin Skywalker and Padme Admidala into their home.

Anakin: "I'm Anakin Skywalker. I'm here looking for my mother." Owen: "Owen Lars... I guess I'm your step-brother. This is my girlfriend, Beru."

Anakin: "I'm Anakin Skywalker. I'm here looking for my mother." Owen: "Owen Lars... I guess I'm your step-brother. This is my girlfriend, Beru."

After a brief introduction, they shake hands and are joined by Cliegg Lars, husband to Anakin's mother Shmi.

Cliegg has some bad news for Anakin: His mother was taken by a gang of Tusken raiders.

Cliegg has some bad news for Anakin: His mother was taken by a gang of Tusken raiders.

Anakin stands up, but Cliegg tries to hold him back: "She's dead, son. Accept it." But Anakin doesn't believe him: "I can feel her pain, and I will find her. I know she's alive."

Videos

Map

The Hotel Sidi Driss is in a small cul-de-sac about 200 metres from the centre of Matmata. For more information on this location, refer to Mark Dermul's guidebook Trip to Tatooine.

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