Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home, Fans Do Fix | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
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

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

Boyhood is about a boy in Texas whose parents have separated. Filmed over 12 years, audiences watch him grow up — and his worldview evolve. The cumulative power of the movie is tremendous.
NPR

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Palm oil growers are setting their sights on Africa as they amp up production. More than half of the land that's been set aside for plantations in Africa overlaps with ape habitats, researchers say.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Forget the Forbes Celebrity 100. This is the Friskies 50 — the new definitive guide of the most influential cats on the Internet. The list is based on a measure of the cats' social media reach.

Leave a Comment

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