How far would a Star Wars fan go to preserve a relic from the iconic film series? One devoted fan traveled to Tunisia to rescue Luke Skywalker's boyhood home, also known as The Lars Homestead, as seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. On a trip to Tunisia in 2010, Belgian traveler Mark Dermul came upon the modest dome-shaped hut that George Lucas built in the mid-1970s to serve as Luke Skywalker's home. The structure was falling apart when Dermul found it, so he hatched a scheme to restore it. After two years and a lot of cement and plaster, Luke's house is looking better than ever.
Dermul is a frequent visitor to Tunisia, having served as a guide to the filming locations of the fictional planet of Tatooine (Luke and Anakin Skywalker’s home planet) for more than a decade. According to Architizer, there is a network of crumbling structures and film sets like this one in the Tunisian desert that George Lucas and his production team abandoned when they were finished filming Star Wars.
After returning from a trip to Tunisia in 2010, Dermul noticed that the hut was in very bad shape. Dermul tells NPR that, almost as a joke, he put out a call to help restore Luke’s hut, but people took the cause seriously, and donations from other fans quickly poured in. Dermul and his team raised the $11,000 needed to fix up the igloo-shaped structure, but the Arab Spring uprising in Tunisia slowed the project down.
Once Tunisia’s new government came to power in October 2011, Dermul and his team were able to obtain building permits to fix up Luke’s home. In late May, Dermul and five other workers returned to Tunisia and spent eight days renovating and rebuilding the structure. The hut has been re-plastered, and with a fresh coat of white paint, it looks more like an igloo than ever.
Al photos © Mark Dermul / savelars.com