Mos Eisley Cantina
From the MoviesLooking at the exterior of the Mos Eisley Cantina, few would suspect the bizarre and dangerous array of aliens seeking shade, business and refreshment within. Upon first entering the establishment, a patron steps into a darkened alcove. The period in which that patron's eyes adjust from the blazing desert sunlight to the dank interior gives the bar just enough time to check out the new arrival.
A few steps down into the main room, one finds a scattering of booths and free-standing tables. An all-alien band plays a lively tune in the corner, and a gruff bartender slings exotic concoctions from behind a rounded bar.
Most of the best freighter pilots visiting Tatooine can be found here. Deals of all kinds are made in the shadows -- most of them dangerous and nowhere near legal. Just about anything goes in this place, save for two standing conditions: droids are not allowed inside, and if you've got a dispute, leave blasters out of it.
Prior to his departure from Tatooine, Luke Skywalker got a first look at just what a life among the stars could promise. The fresh-faced farmboy had never seen so many aliens in one place, and the rough-and-tumble crowd could sense an easy target. Two thugs tried to pick a fight with the youth, but Obi-Wan Kenobi intervened, dispatching the brutes with a quick swing of his lightsaber.
It was here that Skywalker and Kenobi hired the services of Han Solo and Chewbacca. The smuggling duo were responsible for transporting the last of the Jedi Knights and the first of the new off the desert planet and into a galaxy of adventure.
From the Expanded UniverseLocated in the heart of the Old Quarter, the Mos Eisley Cantina is just across the dusty street from the Dowager Queen wreckage. It was one of the first structures built in Mos Eisley, originally intended as a shelter and armory to protect against Tusken Raider attacks. When the attacks never materialized, the blockhouse was converted into a bar, and the cantina has changed hands many times.
The bar currently belongs to a Wookiee proprietor named Chalmun, who bought the building with gambling profits swindled on Ord Mantell. Chalmun rarely exits his backroom office, and hires a number of bartenders to dispense drinks. The sour Wuher has the most shifts, but the favorite of the regulars is the matronly Ackmena.
Chalmun's disgust of droids led him to install a droid detector in the front foyer. Its warbling alerts patrons to the presence of mechanicals. Other than that, there are few rules governing behavior in the cantina. While there are no gaming tables at Chalmun's, there are always at least half-a-dozen games of chance being played around the main room.
Though Chalmun was hesitent to do so, he eventually capitulated to employee and patron demands and added a live band. He admits that the lively tunes of Figrin D'an and his Modal Nodes have helped discourage violence in his bar.
The central bar is a high-tech, if outdated, set-up capable of synthesizing virtually any known drink in the sector. The mixing computer knows 16,000 recipes, but of course, Chalmun does not keep all the required ingredients in stock.
Behind the ScenesA perennial fan favorite that showcases the diversity of lifeforms in the Star Wars galaxy, the cantina sequence was fraught with production delays that nearly made it an impossibility. The Make-Up Supervisor, Stuart Freeborn, was overcome with illness and could not finish the required masks in time. Furthermore, Director George Lucas could not get the needed funding to hire additional creature craftsmen. The end result is that the main unit photography of the cantina scene was left with limited slip-on creature masks and humans with weird make-up.
Lucas was able to get additional funding for some re-shoots of the cantina sequence, which were shot in California. These included individual booth scenes and inserts with creatures crafted by Rick Baker and other talented make-up artists. Even the famous cantina band was a last-minute addition to the sequence.
Keywords: Databank - Episode IV, Databank - Expanded Universe
Filed under: Vault, Location
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