The making of ''Star Wars''
George Lucas gets back into the space race with ''Attack of the Clones'' -- Read an excerpt of Entertainment Weekly's May 17, 2002, cover story
On Sept. 7, 2000, George Lucas finally brought ”Star Wars” home.
Yes, he went to Tunisia in 1997, to shoot ”Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” But back then, he did not come to Chott Le Jerid, the earthly stand-in for the Tatooine stamping grounds of Luke Skywalker.
Incredibly, the original sets Lucas built on this arid lakebed 27 years ago — including the deep crater he dug for the family’s shelter — are still there, tended to year-round by locals who wear vintage ”Star Wars” T-shirts. For the younger cast and crew who accompanied Lucas to Chott Le Jerid to shoot ”Episode II — Attack of the Clones,” being there was like leaping back into their childhoods. ”It’s the iconic set of the whole series. The homestead,” recalls the 58-year-old Lucas. ”The kids were excited because this is what they remembered ‘Star Wars’ to be. For me, it was a nostalgic trip to the past. Standing out there, it was like no time had passed at all.”