If you want to visit Tatooine, you better go soon. The set used to portray Anakin Skywalker’s childhood home in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace will soon be buried under a giant sand dune.
According to Brigham Young University planetary scientist Jani Radebaugh, a fast-moving sand dune is starting to make its way toward the Mos Espa set in Tunisia, and will eventually bury the buildings still standing there.
The new sand dune was about 20 feet tall and 300 feet wide in 2009, and has been moving toward the Star Wars set roughly 50 feet a year since 2002.
Could there be a new hope for the Tatooine set? Not really. One dwelling and a pair of other structures have already been partially swallowed. They also can’t bulldoze the dune because there’s a bigger one behind it anyway.
It also already happened to the Tatooine sets of the ’70s and ’80s trilogy. Fans used to visit those sets before they were overrun by dunes.
If you want to visit the prequel-era set, you pretty much have to go yesterday. The Tunisia set hosts about 100,000 visitors each year since 1999.
The quirkiest thing about the Mos Espa set is that people actually live there right now. Kotaku reported earlier last month that recent visitors to the set found an individual raising birds and another who had actually set up a shop.
Luke Skywalker’s home from the 1977 film has also been re-appropriated as a hotel called Sidi Driss.
Are you interested in visiting Tunisia’s Star Wars sets before they’re buried in sand dunes?