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.
The single-story building was 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.
Identified only by a sign over the door reading simply "Cantina," the cantina was a popular gathering place for spacers and 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 building using gambling profits earned on Ord Mantell. 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.
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 approached 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.
Galactic Civil War
- "The cantina? Well, it's not really dangerous. There hasn't been an incident in the cantina for some time. A Rodian bounty hunter was shot there by one of his associates, and an Aqualish lost his arm in a barfight the same day. But since then it's been pretty quiet. Wuher likes to run a quiet cantina."
- ―Mayor Mikdanyell Guh'rantt, to a spacer
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. At one point a holographic video screen was installed by Chalmun for sports broadcasts, but it was removed after the HoloNet entertainment feeds faced constant interruptions from Imperial alerts. The cantina gained 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 Fabritech 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.
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.
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 cantina 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.
Chalmun's Cantina was firebombed shortly after the death of Jabba the Hutt, forcing a rebuilding. During the chaos surrounding Jabba's death, the Cantina was attacked again by a swoop gang led by Mossol the Menace, but the repair droids put out the fire. A group of spacers then helped Chalmun free his friend Rejeff.
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. 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.
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.
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 droid, 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.
Inside one of the building's 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. Its domed roof sported a communications jammer disguised as a vaporator.
Underneath 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; previous owners had used it as a catacomb.
Behind the scenes
Chalmun's Cantina was also in The Star Wars Holiday Special, set months after A New Hope, and shown during a night shift.
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.
It is possible that the Episode I podracer Gasgano was 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" who can be located inside the cantina. It may be another Xexto podracer; however, the only officially named Xexto podracer is Gasgano.
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.
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- "Prey"—Star Wars Tales 11
- "Smuggler's Blues"—Star Wars Tales 14
- "Tall Tales"—Star Wars Tales 19 (In flashback(s))
- "The Emperor's Court"—Star Wars Tales 14 (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace
- Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure: A New Hope
- The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition
- "The Secret Tales of Luke's Hand!"—Star Wars Tales 8
- LucasArts Cantina
- Club Penguin Star Wars Takeover
Notes and references
- "Refresher Reading"—Star Wars Insider 91
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
- Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley
- Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
- Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope: Special Edition
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- Tatooine Sojourn
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
- Heir to the Empire