Visiting the Tunisian desert where 'Star Wars' was filmed

Visiting the Tunisian desert where 'Star Wars' was filmed
This Feb. 1, 2018 photo shows the inside of an abandoned Star Wars film location in the Sahara Desert near Tozeur in southern Tunisia at dusk. Southern Tunisia is a remote and otherworldly region that extends into the dunes of the Sahara Desert. (Cain Burdeau via AP)

MATMATA, Tunisia (AP) — There’s a reason the original “Star Wars” movie was filmed in the deserts of southern Tunisia. This stark, remote landscape looks like another planet.

One of Tunisia’s vast desert regions is even called Tataouine (ta-TWEEN), like Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tattoine.

And the underground home where Luke Skywalker first appeared living with his uncle and aunt is a real hotel in the town of Matmata, one of various desert locations used in the movies.

Masoud Berachad owns the Hotel Sidi Driss. He says visitors have dropped off since Tunisia’s democratic revolution in 2011 and attacks on tourists in 2015.

Still, devoted “Star Wars” fans keep the hotel in business.

Before becoming a hotel in 1969, the “Star Wars” dwelling was a traditional home used by indigenous Berbers, carved from sandstone.