Filed Under:

Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home, Fans Do Fix

Play associated audio

Mark Dermul is a serious Star Wars fan. He was just 7 years old in 1977 when the original movie hit the theaters. As soon as the huge Star Destroyer flew across the opening scene, he was hooked.

"It hasn't left me," he says. At 43, Dermul now guides tours throughout North Africa, visiting sites that were featured in the blockbuster films.

On one 2010 trip back to planet Tatooine — OK, Tunisia — he and his tour group noticed that Luke Skywalker's boyhood home was rapidly decaying. They jumped into hyperspace — OK, the Internet — to save it.

They sent out a call on Facebook to restore the sandy igloo first featured in Episode IV: A New Hope. Fans from around the world responded at light speed with donations, shooting past the goal and raising more than $11,000. Then, war threatened.

The Arab Spring put the project on hold, but by October 2011, Tunisia's newly instated government provided the permits necessary for the renovation to begin.

Though much of the hut was past saving, Dermul's group reinforced, plastered and painted what was left. Luke's old homestead is now back to its original desolate glory.

The renovation may bolster more than just fantasy; when he first started visiting landmarks from the movies, Dermul says, the local Tunisians thought he was crazy. But tourism has received a boost from Star Wars fans in recent years, and now, he says, locals are coming around.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: We Quiz The Duplass Brothers On Sibling Rivalry

Mark and Jay Duplass take a break from writing, directing, acting and producing to play a game called "Hating you is like hating myself."
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

For Nevada Democrats, A Lot Will Depend On Latino Voters

How instrumental is Nevada's Latino community in next week's race there between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? NPR's Linda Wertheimer asks Nevada state senator Ruben Kihuen.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.