Mos Eisley Cantina
The Chalmun's Cantina (often called the Mos Eisley Cantina or the Star Wars Cantina) is a fictional bar (cantina) of the Star Wars universe located in the "pirate city" of Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine. It is the haunt of freight pilots and other dangerous characters of various alien races and contains booths, a bar counter, and some free-standing tables, and sometimes a band of musicians named Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The establishment is extremely rough in nature, and the clientele and the management give incidents of deadly violence no more than a moment's attention. Droids are not allowed inside; a droid detector near the front door alerts the management of any entering droid.
The exterior scene was initially filmed in 1976 at the little town of Ajim, which is a fishing port on the Isle of Djerba, Tunisia in North Africa. The film crew added some false frontage to the structure, giving it a more dramatic appearance. The building has seen no refurbishment since 1976. The interior set was constructed and filmed on Stage 6, Elstree Studios in London. In early 1977, Lucas added several alien close-ups at Hollywood Center Studios, because he was dissatisfied with both the make-up and the limited coverage he had from the Tunisia footage. The new material was cut into the film by Lucas' editors, including then-wife Marcia Lucas. The Cantina segment was enhanced by composer John Williams' jazz instrumentals, featured on the soundtrack album as "Cantina Band" and "Cantina Band #2". The score reflects Williams' interest in jazz from the 1950s; the composer later cited his intention to invoke kind of a "1940s feel" for the scene, sounding "both alien and yet familiar at the same time."
Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina
The anthology of intertwined short stories Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, edited by Kevin J. Anderson, explores the cantina and its clientele further. The book also explores the reasons for the cantina's ban on droids: the bartender Wuher claims to dislike everyone, but lashes out at droids because they are the only thing that will not try to fight back; the proprietor, a Wookiee named Chalmun, does not tolerate droids because they do not drink, and therefore occupy valuable space.
Mark Jonathan Davis, later of Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine, made a parody song of Barry Manilow's "Copacabana", called "Star Wars Cantina", released in 1996. Davis used the melody of that song; his lyrics are a rough outline of Star Wars Episodes 4 through 6. The song received significant radio airplay, along with "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Yoda", in the run-up to the 1997 release of the Star Wars Special Edition VHS box set and the 1999 release of The Phantom Menace. "Star Wars Cantina" is often erroneously attributed to Yankovic. The song was not released on CD due to copyright complications.
- Hearn, Marcus. The Cinema of George Lucas, Harry N. Abrahams, Inc., 2005, p.116-117
- Rinzler, J. W. (2007). The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film. New York: Del Rey Books. ISBN 0-345-47761-8.
- Williams, John (2004). Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Audio CD (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD) – liner notes. MCA. ASIN B0002YCVIS.
- Burton, Bonnie. "Richard Cheese: Star Wars Swings!", 12 May 2006. reprinted online at Interviews of Richard Cheese at Cheese's website.