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Star Wars Krayt dragon is still in Tunisia

The Krayt dragon on Tatooine is still stuck in the sands of Tunisia, because the budget was so tight on Star Wars: A New Hope production couldn't take it home

Krayt dragon in Star Wars: A New Hope

You can’t visit Tatooine from Star Wars, but you go to where it was filmed in Tunisia. While there, you might even spot some remnants of the filming of science fiction movie A New Hope, including the Krayt dragon. The bones were actually left there during the shoot in the mid ’70s, and remain there today.

“The propmaster one day told me to go up in the attic in the proper room. There was a full-sized dinosaur skeleton,” Roger Christian, set decorator on A New Hope, says in Icons Unearthed. “That’s become the Krayt dragon now!” he laughs. The bones made for an excellent piece of background design, adding to the harsh atmosphere of the desert planet. Good thing, too, because they weren’t going home.

“We couldn’t afford to take it back – we left it there,” Christian states. Such budgetary constraints might seem odd now that Star Wars is perhaps the largest pop culture franchise in the world, but when George Lucas was directing the first one, money was tight. Production was continually over-budget, with few having much faith in what Lucas as attempting to do.

Christian credits himself as one of the few, and needless to say, they were right to go along for the ride. Star Wars has made some parts of the Tunisian desert genuine tourist spots for all the remnants of the blockbuster you can find, one not least being those dinosaur shards.

We finally saw a live-action Krayt dragon in the flesh during The Mandalorian, when the sand-people have to try and defeat one of the monsters. A fearsome creature, it doesn’t look quite the same as those skeletal remains, but then if it did, it’s just look like a dinosaur, wouldn’t it?

Icons Unearthed is available on Vice TV. Check out our Star Wars movies ranked piece for some hot takes on a galaxy far, far away.