Mos Espa Threatened By Sand Dunes


Many are familiar with the home of Anakin Skywalker, Mos Espa which they introduced in the first Star Wars prequel film. After filming, they had left the sets up and fans have been able to visit and experience the life of a Tatooine civilian themselves. But now, fans might not have that much time to visit the home of Anakin Skywalker. BYU Planetary Scientist Jani Radebaugh says that sand dunes are soon coming to cover the sets in the Tunisian Desert.The dune is said to be measured at 20 feet tall and 300 feet wide in 2009, and it’s been moving toward the set about 50 feet per year since 2002.

“In terms of geologic time scales, it’s one of the fastest things we see happen, aside from lava flows and landslides,” Radebaugh said. “You can compare it to some glaciers, but even most glaciers tend to move slower.”

The set has drawn at least 100,000 visitors a year, including the older sets used in the original trilogy which have already been covered by sand dunes. Radebaugh said the only way to really save the set is to move it 650 feet to the south. Bulldozing the sand off the set really isn’t an option due to larger sand dunes following. Some of the building have already been slightly buried.

Sometimes we just have to move out of the way,” Radebaugh said. “The sand people in Star Wars are nomads, right? Maybe they are nomads because the sand moves.”

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