Earlier this week, it was widely reported that the Islamic State had taken over the real-life version of Luke Skywalker's home planet, Tatooine. This is not accurate. ISIS fighters have not torn down the Mos Eisley Cantina and are not currently stomping through the historic streets where a young Jedi's destiny was born such a long time ago.
The story appears to have spun out from this CNN report, which explained that arms caches formerly belonging to Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan regime had been found in Tunisia, the country where Star Wars' desert scenes were filmed. Although the weapons weren't directly linked to IS, Tunisian officials are reportedly anxious about the group's operations in Libya.
The Tunisian city of Tataouine, which has allegedly become a waypoint for IS fighters coming and going from their Libyan bases, is the inspiration and namesake of George Lucas's desert planet. But here are two important facts about Tataouine, reflected in a couple of corrections on The Guardian's website:
This article was amended on Thursday 26 March to reflect that Star Wars was not filmed in Tataouine, but in desert locations in Tunisia.
So, assuming the officials' statement is accurate, it seems Tataouine isn't actually the wretched hive of scum and villainy it was initially made out to be. And IS hasn't taken over the actual Star Wars sets—located in Matmata, Tozeur, and on the island of Djerba—either.
You can go about your business, nerds who didn't care about the Islamic State's activities until they (reportedly) ruined your childhood. Move along. These are not the droids you're looking for.