No, ISIS fighters are not roaming the Star Wars sets in Tunisia’s desert

The set of the Mos Espa spaceport, near Nefta Tunisia. photo: flickr/johntrathome [Creative Commons]

A CNN report on fighters traveling through Tunisia on their way to Libya has inspired some sexy and clickbaity, but factually incorrect, aggregation.

From The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor:

From The Guardian:

Screenshot via TheGuardian.com

For journalists, it’s an enticing story: A desert planet in a galaxy far, far away is now home to fighters who have crossed over to the dark side of the Force. Unfortunately (at least for that narrative), the Star Wars movies weren’t actually filmed in Tataouine, though the fictional planet Tatooine was named after the town.

From StarWars.com:

While Tataouine was not used in any of the movies, it is obviously the inspiration for the name of the desert planet…

The closest actual filming location for the movies is Ksar Ouled Soltane, which was one of the locations used for the slave quarters row where Anakin Skywalker and his mother lived in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

This map from StarWars.com shows Tataouine, not because anything was filmed there, but because they recommend staying a night in the town.

Much of the filming, including scenes of the iconic Mos Espa spaceport, took place near the town of Nefta, a five-hour drive west of Tataouine.

And in Mos Espa, ISIS fighters are nowhere to be found. Instead the old Star Wars sets are being used to throw massive dance parties, like this one just last month:

We didn’t notice any ISIS fighters dropping sick beats, did you?

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