Sidi Bouhlel: Mouth of the Canyon

The Sandcrawler Parking Lot

By Pamela Green
Photography by Gus Lopez

Just east of Tozeur, on the edge of the vast Chott el Jerid, there is a small canyon at the foot of a shrine. Many shots, from many different scenes in Star Wars: ANH were filmed here, against a still very recognizable rocky background.

Location: 34° 01' 56" N, 8° 16' 58" E (using Magellan GPS Pioneer)
Directions: From Tozeur, travel east towards Chott el Jerid. Right before you reach the chott, turn left (the sign says towards "DGHOUMES"). Continue on this road for 2.1 km, and then left on a dirt road. The canyon is at the foot of Sidi Bouhlel, just 1.6 km down this road. Sidi Bouhlel is a well-known marabout in the area. Be sure to lock your car door when you park.

The Star Wars canyon actually takes it's name from Sidi Bouhlel, a marabout that sits atop the canyon. A marabout is a shrine to a holy man, and these domed, white-washed structures are a common site around Tunisia. Sidi, as I understand it, is the approximate equivalent of "saint."

This is the mouth of the Star Wars canyon. Our little rental car is parked in the same spot where the unfortunate jawas parked their sandcrawler when they were pulled over by stormtroopers during Star Wars: ANH.

Follow the line on the left side of the picture to match up the background scenery from the Sidi Bouhlel photos above.

That little knob on the left side of the hill is also visible in some ANH production photos.

Here's a wide angle shot from the making of Star Wars of the mouth of the Star Wars Canyon near Sidi Bouhlel.

We looked around for charred jawas, but, finding none, continued up the canyon.

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