The Archaeology of Star Wars

Dr. David West Reynolds rediscovered the lost Star Wars filming locations

and became a NYT #1 best-selling Star Wars author.

From Archaeologist to Author

I never expected to become a specialist in the archaeology of Star Wars, but when I was finishing up my Ph.D in archaeology in 1995, I learned that the desert filming locations of the original Star Wars movie had become lost. I set out for North Africa to find them—and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. As the very first person to revisit all these sites, I discovered set pieces still in place and movie props abandoned in the Sahara sands. 

The ultimate reward for my treasure hunt was an unexpected job with Lucasfilm. I was hired as a location scout for the Star Wars prequels and asked to write a pioneering series of official Star Wars guide books. I became Lucasfilm's house expert on the archaeology of Star Wars, delving as deep as my imagination wanted to go.

In my octagonal office at Skywalker Ranch I created backstory, devised spaceship mechanics, and designed the inside of the lightsaber, among many other colorful projects. George Lucas himself approved my work, which became "canon" Star Wars reference.

I have since worked with NASA's Apollo astronauts, boarded the stealth vessel Sea Shadow, and pursued many other science and media adventures, but the archaeology of Star Wars remains my most popular work. I share the story through popular lecture presentations and a new DVD documentary.



Journey to Tataouine DVD


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See it all for yourself! Journey to Tataouine is an amazing 51-minute documentary that tells the story of the archaeology of Star Wars, using the S-VHS footage shot in 1995 when no one else knew where these sites were. Presented by Dr. David West Reynolds on camera with an original score by Matias Malmivaara. Share in the challenge, the emotion, and the wonder of finding these traces of Star Wars on Earth for the first time. Includes 6 short bonus features with more detail on each Tunisian site for super-fans. 



The Archaeology of Star Wars

The rollicking tale of my unlikely expedition to Tunisia is full of humor and adventure, crafted to entertain fans and non-fans alike. This illustrated talk has delighted audiences at museums, universities, conferences, conventions, and libraries across the United States and Canada. The thematic combination of science and Star Wars has helped many educational institutions bring in top attendance numbers for special events.

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You can contact Dr. Reynolds about the archaeology of Star Wars or the DVD via the phone number below.

Dr. David West Reynolds

(812) 725-7776