- Pete Buttigieg swears he’s not in the CIA 5 Years Ago
- Greta Thunberg named ‘Time’ 2019 person of the year 5 Years Ago
- The best gear and gadget gifts for Dad this holiday season Today 7:30 AM
- The 10 most important sci-fi films of the 2010s Today 7:00 AM
- Netflix advances beyond testosterone-fueled anime with subdued ‘Levius’ Today 6:00 AM
- Influencer accused of selling shirt she was supposed to promote Tuesday 8:42 PM
- Jameela Jamil dragged for comparing reproductive rights to landlord rights Tuesday 6:54 PM
- Trump campaign posts Thanos meme, totally misses point of ‘Endgame’ Tuesday 5:58 PM
- Petition calls for Apple to make a Baby Yoda emoji Tuesday 5:16 PM
- This BTS-Billie Eilish mashup is the most popular tweet of 2019 Tuesday 4:51 PM
- Michelle Wolf embraces vulgarity in ‘Joke Show’ Tuesday 4:24 PM
- Influencer gets 14 years in prison for trying to steal domain name at gunpoint Tuesday 4:14 PM
- ‘Three Days of Christmas’ is a delightfully dark holiday alternative to Hallmark Tuesday 3:55 PM
- The way Trump Jr. holds his own book inspires mockery Tuesday 3:47 PM
- Woman facing backlash for no longer wearing hijab in end of the decade photo Tuesday 3:16 PM
ISIS has taken over a city famous for its link to ‘Star Wars’
This will put a damper on tourism for the foreseeable future.
Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which calls itself the Islamic State, are using the southern Tunisian city of Tataouine as a way station in their fight to control the entire Middle East. Tunisian authorities recently found two caches of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenade launchers and a massive stockpile of ammunition, in the city, which is located 60 miles west of the Libyan border.
ISIS has been seizing territory left and right in its quest to establish a regional caliphate (Islamic government). Experts estimate that the group controls one third of Syria, and the poor security situation in Iraq has led to easy gains there as well. But ISIS’s seizure of Tataouine has generated breathless mainstream media coverage because the small Tunisian city inspired the name of the Star Wars planet Tatooine, where both Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) and his son Luke were both born.
You may remember Tatooine’s endless desert from this iconic scene in 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Although George Lucas didn’t film any scenes in Tataouine, he did film nearby for 1999’s Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Several other Tunisian locations hold even greater importance to Star Wars fans, including Sidi Bouhlel, where Obi-Wan Kenobi rescued Luke from Tusken Raiders, and Hôtel Sidi Driss, where Luke lived with his aunt and uncle.
J.J. Abrams, who directed this year’s Star Wars sequel The Force Awakens, did not return to Tunisia to shoot sand-planet scenes., instead opting for Abu Dhabi.
Prior to the outbreak of unrest surrounding ISIS’s rise, Tunisia had embraced its reputation as a mecca for Star Wars fans. The country’s tourism office partnered with the national Star Wars fan club to create a campaign linking the space-fantasy franchise with the Middle Eastern nation.
Screengrab via SW Fans Tunisia/YouTube
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.