'Star Wars' Set Threatened: Sand Dunes Bury 'Epsiode One' Scenery

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 09:21 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Part of the set used in "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace" is being threatened by encroaching sand dunes in Tunisia and now a massive fundraising campaign is underway to save the iconic scenery.

The Tunisian tourism ministry is reportedly trying to raise 300,000 dinars ($189,750) to fend off sand damage to the set built in the 1990s for the "Star Wars" film, according to Sky News.

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The set, in Tunisia's southern area of Ong Jmel, depicted Anakin Skywalker's hometown of Mos Espa in 1999's "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace."

"Mos Epsa is located in a very windy region, threatened by sand dunes which the wind moves by around 15 meters a year. One dune has already buried 10 percent of the site," Nabil Gasmi, who works with one of the tourism groups involved in the campaign, told reporters. We managed to remove 8,000 cubic meters of sand in 12 days. Unfortunately some of the set has already collapsed."

Filming is reportedly underway for "Star Wars Episode VII," the latest installment in the space opera franchise slated for a December 2015 release. It is rumored to take place 35 years after the events chronicled in 1983's "Return of the Jedi."

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