The Mos Eisley cantina is one of the most iconic sequences in sci-fi, let alone Star Wars, for good measure: it’s a hectic, technicolor glimpse into a wild world of weird aliens that expands, in just a few minutes, our entire worldview of what the setting can offer us, all these different creatures and stories left for us to imagine… well, until Star Wars itself got to imagining a few of them.
Of the many beings hidden away in the depths of Chalmun’s Cantina, given prominence or lingering in the background, here’s a few of our favourites.
12) Pons Limbic
Maybe one of the best out-there designs in the whole cantina, Pons is a Siniteen. Their big brains make them good for calculating the complex mathematics required for astro navigation and hyperspace jumping without the aid of a droid, but also: it just means they have really big, really veiny heads for their really big, really veiny brains.
11) Arleil Schous
Arleil was a Defel, which is apparently a Wolfman-like being entirely different to the other Wolfman we see in the cantina (who, spoilers for a tongue-in-cheek ranking, we’ll get to later). Defels, can, apparently, naturally bend light to make themselves appear practically invisible, but Arleil was just so old he forgot how to that, hence why we actually get to see him.
Look at her reach for that drink! Adorable. Silliest and most wonderful moment in the entire cantina sequence, and that’s saying something.
Talz are a very cool alien design anyway, but Muftak’s oversized presence in the cantina has made him a prime candidate for Star Wars’ greatest love: writing, in detail, complex and rich interwoven backstories for characters we could literally blink and miss in the movies. Case in point: Muftak is an orphaned pickpocket who works alongside the aforementioned Kabe, and, after getting involved in a series of increasing financial gambits with other aliens at the cantina, is actually the low-level spice smuggler who Han was meant to drop off his shipment for Jabba to, before he had to dump it. Ridiculous, but delightful.
8) Kitik Keed’kak
Cons: She’s basically just a very large praying mantis
Pros: She’s basically just a very large praying mantis.
Greedo is iconic to be sure, and we all love a complicated legacy like the one he has over whether or not he shot at Han first. But Greedo’s entire thing is that he’s meant to be just kind of a loser, and that does drag his overall presence and cool design down quite a bit. Also, we’re not really over Maclunkey yet.
6) Ketwol and Melas
Ketwol and Melas are, technically, entirely two unrelated characters, added into A New Hope’s Special Edition to replace Lak Sivrak, the actual worst crime of the Special Editions. What actually makes Ketwol and Melas cool, instead of just Wolfmen scabs, is they’re actually the same creature design used twice: Ketwol was the prime puppet, but to make Melas, puppeteers took Ketwol’s head, turned around 180 degrees, and then hid his tusks and snout with a turban. Design challenges are fun!
I mean… give him a hand, folks.
4) Lak Sivrak
Several of the cantina aliens, due to the sheer density of creatures required for the scene, were crafted out of standard masks already found in the prop department just to save time and budget. Lak, who is Literally Just a Wolfman, is perhaps the most iconic and emblematic of them all, giving us the Shistavanen race in the EU in the process, which means Wolfmen have been Rogue Squadron pilots, Jedi, bounty hunters, and just generally cool folks, because they’re Wolfmen.
Plus, you know you’re good when they have to make two aliens to make up for cutting you out of the Special Editions.
3) Dice Ibegon
A giant snakelike being called a Lamproid, Dice is on here because did you know that she was at the cantina on a date with Lak Sivrak? Aside from her excellent taste, Dice was also using her romantic rendezvous as an opportunity to convince Lak to join her in the Rebel Alliance, and did so successfully.
Oh, also, she’s Force-sensitive to boot. You go, girl.
2) Bom Vimdin
Aside from looking like a devilish gremlin — barely glimpsed in the background of literally the first shot in the cantina sequence. — did you know that Bom Vimdin was an infamous smuggler who literally had already escaped the Death Star by the time we see him hanging out in Chalmun’s Cantina? Luke, Han, and Chewie ain’t shit.
1) Figrin D’an (and the Modal Nodes)
Iconic. The finest purveyors of Jizz this side of the Outer Rim. Instantly recognisable, standout design work. Plus, they gave us one of the funniest things to say in Star Wars, which, considering they gave us Jizz, is already great: the Kloo Horn. Undefeatable Star Wars terminology.