Journey Beyond the Screen

Jebel Krefane

Tunisia: Star WarsJebel Krefane: Star Wars Canyon

Location

On the rim of the salt plain of Chott el Jerid lies the small village of Bouhlel. A nearby sandstone ravine in the hills of Jebel Krefane was used as a major location for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Nine scenes were filmed here, which makes it a fantastic site to visit for fans. However, it is important to note, that many scenes within the sequence where R2-D2 is ambushed by the Jawas were also filmed in Death Valley in California.

Obviously, word got out to the film industry as well: the canyon stars in Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and stands in as the exterior of the 'Cave of the Swimmers' in The English Patient (1996).

The most stunning worldly feature, however, is the domed, gleeming-white hermitage of Sidi Bouhlel, which sits above the rim in a unique position, overlooking the ravine as well as the landscape stretching to the horizon below.

Fantasy meets reality: The hermitage of Sidi Bouhlel at the edge of the Star Wars Canyon.

Fantasy meets reality: The hermitage of Sidi Bouhlel at the edge of the Star Wars Canyon.

 

Key Scenes

Before you approach the canyon mouth, stop near the geothermal water pump and look at the little ridge in front of you. This was the place where the Jawas were massacred and the lower part of the Jawa Sandcrawler was built. This set structure features in the scene where R2-D2 is sucked into the Jawa transporter, as well the scene where Luke and Obi-Wan burn the bodies of the dead Jawas (8).

Once you enter the canyon, the first location you will encounter is the scene with R2-D2 being captured by the Jawas, situated underneath an overhang (1).

R2-D2 is down after his electric circuits have been shocked by a Jawa blaster.

R2-D2 is down after his electric circuits have been shocked by a Jawa blaster.

After walking another 20 metres up the valley, a low cave to the right marks the spot where Luke Skywalker's landspeeder was parked (2). From here, the canyon starts to widen. The terraces coming up on the right appear several times in the movie (5). Shortly after, you'll see a pile of boulders on the left, which housed the cave that R2-D2 used as his hideout while Obi Wan-Kenobi discovered Luke (3). The little hole, ready-made for the droid by the set designers, has weathered considerably, but is still present.

R2-D2 looks on helplessly, as the Sandpeople knock Luke unconsious and raid his landspeeder.

R2-D2 looks on helplessly, as the Sandpeople knock Luke unconsious and raid his landspeeder.

Obi Wan-Kenobi comes to the rescue.

Obi Wan-Kenobi comes to the rescue.

The large, square boulder up the valley on the right wall marks the scene where Luke is initally attacked by the Sandpeople (4). Follow the curve of the canyon to the left and you will come across the rocks from which Obi Wan-Kenobi scrambles down after scaring off the Sandpeople (6).

On top of the plateau up above the left canyon wall, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and the droids R2-D2 and C3PO look out towards the spaceport of Mos Eisley (7).

Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

You can climb to the lookout, but in order to do so, you have to return to the mouth of the canyon. From there, take the path up to the hermitage. Follow the edge of the canyon for the sceneframing shot. The scene with Luke's landspeeder racing through the canyon was filmed halfway between the lookout and the hermitage (9).

Videos

Map

Coming from highway P3, turn into highway GP16 towards the chott. At the 75 kilometre marker for Kebili, a turn-off goes east towards Dghoumes. Take this road and continue past the 3 kilometre marker. Take the first road to your left, which will lead to the hermitage of Sidi Bouhlel and the mouth of the canyon.

For more information on this location, refer to Mark Dermul's guidebook Trip to Tatooine.

 

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