A Key Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith Scene Was Shot During Attack Of The Clones

For "Star Wars" fans, Tunisia is a holy land of sorts. It's the closest they'll ever come to setting foot on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's home planet and the place where our heroes were nearly consigned to the slow-digesting belly of the sarlaac. It's so quintessentially "Star Wars" that when George Lucas resumed the series in 1999 with "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace," he had to return to the North African country to recapture the desert drudgery of Tatooine.

As with the original trilogy, Lucas left three years between each of his prequel films, just enough time to let fans miss the series without losing narrative momentum. This time out, Lucas knew exactly where the story was headed and where he'd have to shoot each movie. When it came to "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," Lucas knew there would only be one (crucial) scene on Tatooine, which meant going back to Tunisia wouldn't make a good deal of budgetary sense.

So when Lucas and company were wrapping up their time in Tunisia for "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones," they decided to get way ahead of the game on the third movie and get that key scene in the can.

Young Skywalker arrives on Tatooine

According to J.W. Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," the shooting of this scene was treated as a top-secret operation. It was a "partial" sequence, which meant certain elements would be added somewhere down the line. What most people didn't know was that the full scene wouldn't be seen for another five years.

The set was built near the Chott el Jerrid salt lake. Per Rinzler, the location was listed as "Tatooine Homestead (Moisture Farm)," which should sound awfully familiar to die-hard "Star Wars" fans. There was also a prop involved, a "newborn baby doll" dubbed "A.N. Other." Up-and-coming actor Joel Edgerton, who played Owen Lars in "Attack of the Clones," was on hand, as was Ewan McGregor's body double Breeden Phillip.

Yes, they were shooting the handing off of infant Luke to Uncle Owen, who will raise the young Jedi as his own until he's burnt to a crisp in the first act of "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope."

Per Rinzler, the scene only one-eighth of a script page (indeed, it's a blink-and-miss-it moment in "Revenge of the Sith"), so it was clever and incredibly economical of Lucas to get this scene before flying out of Tunisia.