The Lego Mos Eisley Cantina may be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it’s also a true build-it-yourself testament to the essence of Star Wars.
Next to the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader lightsaber battle or the assault on the Death Star finale, the best part of the original Star Wars is easily the Mos Eisley Spaceport. A mix of danger, crazy looking creatures and violence all introduced against that upbeat “Cantina theme” song made it impossible for this then-5-year-old not to fall in love with the Galaxy’s Greatest Trilogy.
Trivia fact #1: The funky band that plays the Cantina Theme is actually called Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes.
Anyways, when my amazingly generous wife got me the Lego Mos Eisley Cantina set for my 50th birthday, I was instantly shot back some 45 years to that wide-eyed toddler watching an ugly pig-faced human scream, “You’ll be dead!” at our farm boy Luke, only to see a flash of light and then the walrus-face guy getting his arm sliced off.
Who knew Lego Star Wars sets could be so emotional?
This set was so much fun to put together because of all the characters (21 minifigs!) and memorable details.
Outside the Lego Mos Eisley Cantina
One thing that blew me away with this Lego Star Wars set is that it acts as a true playset. When you finish building it, you can close it all up or open it for further interactive play.
The front of the spaceport features a pen for a Dewback (and food and water for the big guy), along with a front door and what looks like one of those moisture farm weather probe thingies.
Around the back are all kinds of storage containers, including an Imperial logo on one (Wonder what’s in there…) and another of those weather station doohickies. I love the way different shades of brown and tan are worked into the walls to simulate the desert-like feel overall.
There’s also a door in the back and, on the top, you can see a few dome ceilings and an overall “roof” that is easy to remove for internal access.
While I can’t read whatever alien language that is above the door, I love it. Heck, I wonder if anyone’s got that as a tattoo in the real world?
Anyways, the Cantina entrance has that cool door, some steps leading up to it, and a few large rings to tie up your bantha or bounty.
Opening and closing these doors is as simple as lifting them up. The build for these was pretty fun and it always amazes me how these Lego Master Builders can somehow combine all these odd pieces to make something as simple as a door look super cool.
This big green lizard is called a dewback. It was mainly used as transportation for those Sandtroopers. The Cantina was nice enough to not only build our friend an area to relax in, but there’s even a trough of water and some food.
And yes, you can even open his mouth. How adorably ferocious is he?
The equivalent of a lemonade stand, there’s a separate building called the Jawa Shop. In it, you can go up to the curmudgeonly little thief and pay three times what you originally paid for those power convertors. And chances are you’re buying back your own stuff anyways.
Jawas really are the perfect examples of supply and demand. When you’re stuck on a pretty lifeless planet like Tatooine, the laws of supply and demand definitely fall in favor of the Utini-shouting Jawas.
There’s a larger living quarters attached to the little Jawa shop too. And from the back, you can see another one of those neat vertical-lifting doors.
You can attach the Jawa Shop to the main Lego Mos Eisley Cantina if you want or leave it as a separate building. Little connector hooks easily let you clip it in if you want.
And finally, here’s a
bird’s mynock’s eye view of the whole shebang. You can see how everything kind of tucks into each other nicely to create a solid structure of a spaceport.
Now that you’re familiar with the premises, let’s take a walk inside, shall we?
Just be careful. I heard someone say, “this place can be a little rough.”
Inside the Cantina
“We don’t serve their kind here” isn’t exactly the warm welcome Lego Luke was expecting when he entered the Lego Mos Eisley Cantina. But by now, C-3PO and R2-D2 were used to the droidphobia spreading throughout the galaxy. So the pair waited outside.
Unfortunately for our heroes… the evil Gonzo clone was keeping tabs on them and reporting back to the Empire! Spies are just the worst.
Trivia Fact #2: That long-nosed spy is called Garindan. He’s also known as “Long-Snoot.” No, really!
Back inside, some of the Galaxy’s most wretched and villainous creatures were cozying up to the old bar. The bar itself is the true centerpiece of the cantina. Literally. It’s smack dab in the middle of the whole thing.
Loads of details (like various bottles, cups and tubes) make up the bar scene. It’s big enough to fit all of your favorite minifigs who need to take a load off. There’s even a little swinging door (see it on the right side above) for the barkeep to enter and exit.
Behind the bar are a number of small booths for characters to sit and enjoy a cup of blue milk or more likely something a tad bit stronger.
It’s all fun and games, though, until…
…until someone doesn’t like your face.
Back behind the bar, you can see the night’s entertainment: Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes playing their little hearts out.
Han didn’t have the money on him, but in the Lego Mos Eisley Cantina, his credit’s pretty good. And unlike those Star Wars Special Editions, in this Legoverse, Han does indeed shoot first.
Trivia Fact #3: Greedo is actually a bounty hunter from the planet Rodia.
Luke and Ben Kenobi (who looks an awful lot like that famous Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi…) track down Han Solo and Chewbacca to discuss renting a ship and a pilot. Luckily, they took a corner booth so Chewy’s negotiating skills won’t be heard by the rest of the patrons.
The cantina has a lot of removable roof panels too, so you can peak inside to see what those rascally minifigures are up to.
And as I mentioned earlier, there’s a very simple latch system to fully close the Cantina set up. The sides of the Cantina swing around, with the bar in the center. On the edges, you just match the peg up to the hole on the other side and wait for the “click.”
The Lego Mos Eisley Cantina Minifigs
As cool as the Cantina is itself, we all know it’s the minifigs that truly make a Lego set. And this bad boy does not disappoint, with a whopping 21 different minifigures.
The Cantina Vehicles
Besides a fully interactive playset and nearly two dozen minifigs, the Lego Mos Eisley Cantina set includes a few vehicles to park right upside the ol’ watering hole.
Who knew there were other versions of landspeeders? This V-35 is seen for a whopping two seconds at the Cantina, but it’s apparently an older model used for ground transport on Outer Rim Territories like Tatooine.
Trivia Fact #4: Luke sold his old landspeeder for a measly 2,000 credits in order to pay for transport to the planet Alderaan with Ben Kenobi
Then there’s this mysterious one-person manned spacecraft. You can see it in the background by the Cantina door when C-3PO is chatting it up with R2-D2. But… whose ship is it? Whoever could be inside???
What the? Yes, sir. That’d be Greedo. Apparently, Jabba’s favorite “Collections Agent” soars the galaxy in a flying egg.
And finally, we have one of my favorite Star Wars creatures (Next to the resourceful tauntaun), the dewback. This thick-skinned lizard was perfect for Sandtroopers to cross the hot desert sands of Tattoine without toasting their tootsies.
Lego even gives you the option of putting the saddle on the dewback’s back or replacing it with a regular ol’ green lizard back.
He definitely seems a bit happier without the galaxy’s worst sharpshooters on his back.
And there you have it. The Lego Mos Eisley Cantina in all its glory. Chock full of so many fun features and details for hardcore fans, this is definitely one playset worth losing an arm over. (Sorry, Ponda Baba. Too soon?)