Star Wars' Mos Espa Set Faces Destruction But You Can Help Save It

Star Wars' Mos Espa Set Faces Destruction But You Can Help Save It

Save Mos Espa

A campaign to save the Mos Espa set from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace from the ravages of the Tunisian desert is now underway.

Remember a couple of years ago when we learned that Mos Espa, Anakin Skywalker's home village on Tatooine, was still standing in the Tunisian desert? The BBC reported last year that scientists have been using the set as a fixed reference point to track the migration of sand dunes, called barchans, which at that time had just made contact with some of the set's buildings. In due time they'll cover the set completely and eventually blow over it, but will undoubtedly leave considerable damage behind.

In the eyes of Tunisia's Ministry of Tourism, that's a problem. The nation's tourism industry has taken a serious downturn as a result of the turmoil that followed the 2010/2011 revolution and overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the president of Tunisia from 1987 until his ouster, and the new tourism minister is trying to reverse those losses by raising awareness of lesser-known areas of the country like Ong Jmel, where the Mos Espa set is located.

To that end, the ministry has launched a "Save Mos Espa" campaign, an effort to raise 300,000 dinars ($190,000) to remove the sand and restore the site. The Tunisian government has allocated 160,000 dinars ($101,000) to the project and hopes to raise more from outside sources. Work is already underway and a representative of one of the groups involved said they'd managed to remove 8000 cubic meters of sand in 12 days, but some of the set had already collapsed. The sand removal is a temporary measure, but according to tourism ministry official Fahmi Houki, it should buy the set another eight to ten years.

Among those the Tunisian government hopes will help with the project are people like, maybe, you: Star Wars fans willing to chip in a few bucks to make it happen. A "Save Mos Espa" Indiegogo campaign now underway is seeking $45,000 in donations to help offset the cost of moving the sand and restoring and promoting the site. You can even have your name engraved on a special plaque that will be placed in the desert near the site, although it'll cost you $1000.

If that's a bit rich, you can go as low as $1 if you like, and because this is an Indiegogo "Flexible Funding" campaign, all money donated will go to the project even if it doesn't reach its goal. The "Save Mos Espa" campaign runs until June 6, 2014.

Sources: Phys.org

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No! It's from the prequels! Kill it!! Kill it with sand!!

I am deposed Nigerian royalty, also you long lost cousin. If you would wire $100,000 I could reclaimed my rightful place in power and reward immensely you.

OT- I don't know if it's legit or not but that's all I could think about while reading this story.

STENDEC1:
No! It's from the prequels! Kill it!! Kill it with sand!!

Yeah, and heavily injure Tunisia's tourist industry in the process, leading the the loss of many jobs in a country that needs... them...!

Hold up...

OT: I hope they manage it. A famous movie set is a cool thing to keep standing for so long.

Aww, but think how great it will be if the set is buried, then uncovered by archaeologists in like 3000 years, and they have no idea what it is.

There isn't enough sand in the world to bury Jar Jar Binks.

Dimitriov:
Aww, but think how great it will be if the set is buried, then uncovered by archaeologists in like 3000 years, and they have no idea what it is.

I was going to say that we should let that happen, but then I watched the video and saw that it's all made of wood and plaster. Without maintenance, I doubt the set would last 30 years, let alone 3000. *sigh*

In a world... Where you can raise millions on Kickstarter for goddamn tabletop RPG miniatures... Can this set be saved?

But if it's gone, I can't cruise Mos Espa in my DeLorean.

(5 points for the obscure reference)

Storm Dragon:

Dimitriov:
Aww, but think how great it will be if the set is buried, then uncovered by archaeologists in like 3000 years, and they have no idea what it is.

I was going to say that we should let that happen, but then I watched the video and saw that it's all made of wood and plaster. Without maintenance, I doubt the set would last 30 years, let alone 3000. *sigh*

Not gonna lie, I didn't bother to watch the video.

However, in the arid desert? It might last. Keep the dream alive!

Wait, what?
This is not some ancient ruin with unique cultural value, it's a fucking movie set made of wood. If it is a major tourism spot shouldn't it be the job of ministry to keep that thing intact?

deth2munkies:
But if it's gone, I can't cruise Mos Espa in my DeLorean.

Why not a Buick?

I'm torn. On the one hand, I really liked The Phantom Menace (I know, I'm a freak of nature) and it would be nice to see the set preserved for posterity. On the other hand, it's cool that it's being used to further scientific knowledge in its current state.

Itīs from Episode ONE!!! Who would ever want to save this shit. Letīs save the franchise by buying all prequel movies carry them to Mos Espa and burn the whole place.

Just let the dunes roll over it and have Lucas fix it with some post-production CG.

Doesn't this destroy the usefulness of any data the scientists were working on, at least post-sand move?

And while I have a small sentimental part of me saying do it, I figure if Disney wanted, they could throw the money at Tunisia without losing any sleep since they have so much cash. If they won't save it, why should we?

As much as I love star wars, I think the Tunisian government might want to focus their efforts elsewhere, namely on ethnic, religious and political problems that still face the country. Worrying about tourism right now simply seems ill-judged, wait at least till after the elections.

deth2munkies:
But if it's gone, I can't cruise Mos Espa in my DeLorean.

(5 points for the obscure reference)

Really not that obscure..... Look at my name...

 

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