Star Wars fans around the world are up in arms today after several reports claim the Tunisian town of Tataouine, where George Lucas shot a crucial scene in the first movie, is now being overrun by terrorist group ISIS.
In the film, the location is known as the planet Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's home. Fans have always paid pilgrimages to the place and even asked for the planet to be reintroduced in future Star Wars projects in the coming years.
According to reports, ISIS is using Tataouine as a waypoint to travel to and from Libya. The ones who make this journey are said to be fighters who visit Libya for training, then return through the town again to head east to join their brethren in Syria.
From what we've come to understand, a major weapons cache was found in the town recently. It contained rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 20,000 rounds of ammunition.
At the moment, Tunisia is in a difficult position after two ISIS fighters attacked the Bardo Museum on March 18 in the capital of Tunis and brutally killed 23 people. Security forces arrived and a gun battle ensued. In the end, both fighters were shot dead.
This is an enormous problem for Tunisia because it will likely see a drop in tourism and revenues. The government has no choice right now but to make a bold move to stop the flow of ISIS fighters through its country. So far nothing has been able to stop ISIS from moving around freely.
It would be quite a shame if the terrorist group chose to take control of Tunisia because whatever remnants of Star Wars left behind by George Lucas would surely be destroyed in the blink of an eye.
There might be a slight saving grace coming this summer. Folks on social media have pledged to support the country's tourism by visiting this summer. They are using the #JeSuisBardo hashtag to get the word around on various platforms.
We can only hope things normalize in Tunisia and other parts of the world where ISIS is running rampant.
Photos: Stefan Krasowski | Flickr