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Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina

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MEC
Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina
(Mos Eisley Cantina)
General information
Location

3112 Outer Kerner Way
Mos Eisley, Tatooine

Builder(s)

Cedo Partu[1]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
Affiliation

Chalmun

"Most of the best freighter pilots can be found here. Only watch your step. This place can be a little rough."
Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Luke Skywalker[src]

Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina, also known as Chalmun's, Chalmun's Cantina, double-c/ceecee by the city militia, the Mos Eisley Cantina or simply The Cantina, was a popular drinking and dining establishment located in the city of Mos Eisley on the desert world of Tatooine.

HistoryEdit

MScantina schematics

Mos Eisley cantina schematics.

The single-story building was first constructed by Cedo Partu, an early pioneer and Mos Eisley town leader, as a fortification against Tusken Raiders. Changing ownership over the years, the building saw use as an armory, a brewery, and a flophouse for vagrants. Before the inception of the cantina, the site was occupied by B'omarr Monks and the Vriichon Brothers, who before the purchase by Chalmun, were running an illegal spice den on the site and burying bodies in the basement.[2]

Identified only by a sign over the door reading simply "Cantina," the cantina was a popular gathering place for spacers, smugglers, and the center of a host of criminal activity in the spaceport of Mos Eisley, Tatooine. It was run by the Wookiee Chalmun, who purchased the cantina from gambling profits earned on Ord Mantell.[3] The droid-hating Wuher maintained the bar during the day and the cheerful bar wench Ackmena tended the place at night. Bouncers such as Tork would regulate the rowdy crowd, tossing out those who shot other patrons.[2]

When the Clone Wars erupted between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Tatooine remained neutral as it was not a member of either institution. However, as the war neared its conclusion, the Confederacy made an attempt on Mos Eisley. The Republic troops made it to the city first, and the elite clone troopers X1 and X2 took over the cantina and used it as a staging area from which to defend the center of the city. General Ferroda, a Jedi Master managed to take the city and the troops left the cantina intact.[4]

Nearly two decades later, the cantina was still profiting under the stewardship of Chalmun, bringing in profits even under the reign of the Galactic Empire. The cantina gained itself a permanent band when the Bith Figrin D'an gambled away the ownership of the Modal Nodes' instruments in a rigged card game with Kardue'sai'Malloc.

One reason Chalmun's Cantina was so popular among spacers was the droid detector that Chalmun installed in the foyer. For a long time, Imperial Sentry Droids made private discussions between smugglers and crime bosses all but impossible. While the detector didn't keep the Sentry Droids out, it did warn everyone that their activities and discussions were about to come under Imperial scrutiny. This enabled everyone time to compose themselves and present a perfectly innocent demeanor. Chalmun's also had a strict "No Droids" policy to prevent people from bringing their own droids into the Cantina with them. This was enforced by a refurbished Fabritech EPT-212 system in the entryway.

Following the deaths of Owen and Beru Lars, in 0 BBY, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and the young Luke Skywalker made their way to the cantina to look for a pilot to the Alderaan system. There, they finally met with the pilot who would soon fly them to Alderaan: Han Solo and his copilot Chewbacca. During talks over a trip to Alderaan, Skywalker encountered the Aqualish scoundrel Ponda Baba, who threatened to kill him. In defense of the young man, Master Kenobi removed Baba's arm with his lightsaber. When the Jedi and his charge quickly fled attention in the cantina, Han Solo prepared to leave but was stopped by the Rodian bounty hunter Greedo. Greedo, employed by Jabba the Hutt to kill Solo in compensation of a debt the smuggler owed, managed to fire a single shot that missed before Solo killed him.[5]

MScantina Luke

Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the cantina, meeting Chewbacca.

In 1 ABY, Tatooine, along with the rest of the system was put under Imperial curfew by an Imperial Moff. Ackmena, the bartender at the cantina at the time, received the message, and responded by singing "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye" to her guests as she ushered them out the door. During the curfew period, droids were also assigned to a waiting area if they accompanied patrons. At one point, a Jawa infected with Bledsoe's disease, died shortly after drinking, which caused the bartender to initially think he drank himself to death until a patron revealed otherwise. Presumably, everyone in the catina that day died from infection, save for Luke Skywalker and Anduvil, who managed to escape in time as soon as they witnessed the Jawa's death.[6]

Chalmun's Cantina was firebombed shortly after the death of Jabba the Hutt,[7] but it remained open five years after the Battle of Endor, when Han Solo returned there to meet with the smuggler Dravis in an unsuccessful attempt to enlist him in cargo work for the New Republic.[8] The cantina was also open at least 15 years later, a man named Zekk—working as a bounty hunter—sought Boba Fett to share with him information on Bornan Thul.

LayoutEdit

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Luke Skywalker[src]

A single story building made of sandstone, the cantina consisted of a bar area, private offices, a VIP lounge, a private hangar, a basement, and a phony shop in the rear. With a maximum occupancy of 102 humanoids, the facility catered to all sorts from across the galaxy, with spacious areas and wide arched doorways to allow patrons of all sizes passage.[2]

Entering through a small portal on one side of the building, a small passage curved around into the main bar area. The bar, featuring many themed spigots which resembled the head of an IG-series assassin droids, was capable of producing several dozen drinks of Chalmun's concocting. Surrounded by eight different alcoves filled with stools, tables, and even a bandstand, the bar wrapped from the public area around into the more private back room. Outside of public view, several secret rooms existed to house sleeping areas for fugitives fleeing the law. At the very back of the building, an open-air hangar housed Chalmun's private shuttle which could be used routinely to transport liquor, or for escape.[2]

Inside one of the buildings domed portions, Chalmun kept his offices. Including his own private bar, the Wookiee's office space was home to his security chief and several confiscated weapons. The back rooms of the building ran parallel to the outside bazaar which sold droid parts and scrap metal. Chalmun maintained a shop out back that sold clothes and other goods. It's domed roof sported a communications jammer disguised as a vaporator.[2]

Underneath of the cantina, a small cellar had been built long before Chalmun came to Tatooine. The bartender, Wuher, used the basement to cook up new brews for his clients; while previous owners had used it as a catacomb.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

Nadon

Momaw Nadon in the cantina.

An IG-88 head can be seen behind the bartender when Ponda Baba's arm is cut off. A full one can also be seen in The Empire Strikes Back when Chewbacca is looking for C-3PO—both are white, while earlier in The Empire Strikes Back an IG-88 bounty hunter is colored gray.

Filming for the cantina exteriors in A New Hope took place in Ajim, Djerba, Tunisia on April 2-3, 1976. However, most of the interior shots were from Stage 6 at Elstree Studios on April 13-21.

Chalmun's Cantina was the same cantina in The Star Wars Holiday Special, set months after ANH, and shown during a night shift.

It is possible that the Episode I podracer, Gasgano, was one of the individuals present around the time of Luke Skywalker's meeting with Han Solo. Although not seen in the movie, Star Wars: Complete Locations points out a "multifingered former podracer, now a deft pickpocket" that can be located inside the cantina. It may be another Xexto podracer, however no Xexto podracers have been officially named, with the exception of Gasgano.

The cantina was featured in an official 1979 drunk driving PSA. In 2007, the official site made it available for viewing.

A skit on a 1977 episode of The Richard Pryor Show took place in the "Star Wars Bar", with Pryor playing the bartender. Though the skit did not reuse the original sets, many of the masks from A New Hope's cantina scene were used for the patrons.

The "It'th Greedo'th Uncle" card from the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire trading card set mistakenly refers to the Mos Eisley cantina as a "casino."

AppearancesEdit

ITW Chalmuns cantina

Cantina cutaway.

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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