Remember the underground homes of Tatooine from the Star Wars universe? Those iconic structures weren't invented just for the film. Those are real underground homes in Tunisia known as troglodyte structures.
And not only do they look like futuristic space homes, they also help locals in the Berber village of Matmata beat the heat. Living underground is always cooler than living above ground in the sun.
If you're looking for the original underground homes from the Star Wars universe, photographer Rä di Martino traveled to Tunisia back in 2010 to track down both the homes and other leftover movie set structures. Lead by Google maps, she scoured the area near Chott el Djerid for the original sets.
“With only my Google map as a guide, I struggled at first to find anything,” Martino says. “Then I met a driver who knew the desert well and offered to take me to the sites. We still ended up asking for directions at a police station and they told us it was 15km from the Algerian border – but only accessible by quad bike. Somehow we made it.”
Once she found the houses, she was also able to find the original sets from the first Star Wars movies. They'd been left behind like ancient ruins.
“These are not real ruins,” she says. “They are just rubbish that has been left by a richer country in a poor country.”
After Martino's photos became public, Star Wars fans began to speak up. It wasn't right to just leave all that set trash behind! In order to rectify the situation, a group of fans spent four days and $11,000 to restore the sites.