The very planet is trying to erase Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (for science)

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Anakin Skywalker didn’t like sand very much. To quote the pre-Clone Wars padawan: “It’s coarse and rough and irritating” (snicker, the irony!) “and it gets everywhere.”

So perhaps Annie wouldn’t mind that his old stomping grounds, the beggardly Tatooine village of Mos Espa, is in the midst of a maelstrom of mountainous sand dunes. He may, however, be a little miffed to learn that the Tunisian movie set is helping researchers get new perspective on the phenomena known as barchans, large sand formations that resemble mountains shifting in the wind.

As The Atlantic points out, the fictional constructs of Star Wars have provided a very real and much-needed point of fixture from which to study how sand moves against itself.

About Jayson Peters

Nerdvana's founder and owner. A former East Valley Tribune copy editor, page designer and website editor, he is now Digital Editor for The Pueblo Chieftain in Southern Colorado, a web design instructor at Pueblo Community College and president of the Southern Colorado Press Club. He has contributed to the popular GeekDad blog and taught online media at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, his alma mater. Lifelong Star Wars fan and Trekker who also worships all things Tolkien and Doctor Who.