- "Everyone knows the Oyu'baat. It's been here since Canderous Ordo was a glint in his mama's eye, and it never closes, ever."
- ―Parja Bralor
The Oyu'baat was an ancient hotel and tapcaf, located on the Outer Rim world of Mandalore. Situated in Mandalore's capital city, Keldabe, the Oyu'baat was the oldest cantina on the planet, open for several thousand years by the start of the Clone Wars. Named for the word oyu'baat, meaning "universe" in the Mando'a language, the time-worn tapcaf served as an unofficial center for the loose government formed by the chieftains of the various Mandalorian warrior clans, who were without formal palaces or designated government buildings. It was not uncommon to find clan leaders among the Oyu'baat's other customers, meeting and brokering deals around the cantina's fire, or over drinks. The Oyu'baat brewed black ne'tra gal ale on site, and served a variety of foods and other drinks. As entertainment, the tapcaf showed bolo-ball matches on a large holovid screen, and offered table games of cu'bikad for patrons.
In 19 BBY, Mandalorian soldier Fenn Shysa met with the clone deserter Fi Skirata at the Oyu'baat, seeking to convince the wounded commando to act as Mand'alor until one could legitimately be appointed. Skirata was unreceptive to the idea, and Shysa eventually accepted the position of Mand'alor, himself; celebrations were held at the Oyu'baat when word of the news spread. When the Galactic Empire was first establishing a garrison on land leased to them outside of Keldabe, Imperial stormtroopers were banned from coming into the Oyu'baat, due to the threat to commerce posed by Mandalorians unwilling to remove their concealing helmets in the presence of the troopers. Around 18 BBY, the Jedi Knight-in-hiding Jax Pavan came to the Oyu'baat seeking information from a Black Sun lieutenant by the name of Tyno Fabris, who was living in Keldabe at the time. Pavan made several visits to the Mandalorian establishment during the course of his stay on Mandalore as he attempted to make use of the gangster's resources in locating a friend who'd been captured by the Empire. During the last of these visits, the Oyu'baat suffered minor damage when a firefight broke out between Pavan and bodyguards of the recently arrived Black Sun Vigo Xizor, who had gone back on a deal that had been struck between Black Sun and the Jedi. Pavan was forced to flee the cantina through a window, blasting it open with the Force and knocking free a section of the surrounding wall.
The damage to the Oyu'baat's structure was subsequently repaired, and the ancient tapcaf outlasted the Empire's decades-long occupation and subjugation of Mandalore, which finally came to an end when Fenn Shysa and his army of Mandalorian Protectors drove the Imperials from the Mandalore sector. The Oyu'baat also survived the damage incurred to Mandalore by the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong when they struck at the Mandalorian homeworld. In 40 ABY, the cantina came to share its role as a favored meeting place of the clans with MandalMotors Hall, a newly constructed communal building donated for public use by the MandalMotors starship company. During this time, the Oyu'baat saw frequent visits from reigning Mand'alor Boba Fett and his granddaughter, Mirta Gev, and was the site of much celebration when a new lode of beskar iron ore was discovered near the town of Enceri, promising to bring about a new era of economic prosperity for the warrior clans. During the galactic bolo-ball tournament of 41 ABY, numerous Mandalorians flocked to the Oyu'baat to watch the games on the bar's viewscreen, though one viewing session was interrupted by the arrival of Jaina Solo and the revelation that she was a Jedi Knight.
The Oyu'baat was located on the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, within the capital city of Keldabe. Situated at one end of an ancient paved square, across from Chortav Meshurkaane, the Oyu'baat was a hotel and tapcaf housed within a large, three-story structure that appeared to some as a gathering of smaller buildings that had merged over time. The Oyu'baat was constructed almost entirely of wood and stone, with a sloped, tiled roof, beneath which a massive wooden ridgepole—as wide in diameter as three average Human men—could be seen jutting out on either side from below the building's eaves. A pair of doors stood at the cantina's entrance beneath a large portico. The Oyu'baat's exterior facade was coated with painted plaster that was known to chip and flake with age, and possessed an eclectic assortment of windows with non-perpendicular angles and a general disregard for being level. The Oyu'baat took its name from the Mando'a word oyu'baat, a term which translated to "universe" in Galactic Basic Standard. The name in both languages was written on a sign outside of the tapcaf's entrance. The dual-language sign also warned that strills, six-legged hunting animals native to Mandalore, were not allowed inside, and notified potential customers that the cantina accepted barter as means of payment, in addition to standard credits.
Inside the doors of the tapcaf, a broad but shallow staircase led into the Oyu'baat's main hall, an immense room built primarily from dark-colored wood. Tables for customers to sit at were spread about the hall at intervals, while booths lined the outer walls, each with a sliding wooden screen that could be drawn across the booth's opening for optional added privacy. Two curved bars with long counters and a number of available seats were the centerpiece of the Oyu'baat's main chamber: one was allocated to serving food, while the other offered a variety of beverages. The Oyu'baat kept a large stock of Mandallian Narcolethe, and brewed its own ne'tra gal, a sweet black Mandalorian ale they served to customers in glass mugs. Among its non-alcoholic beverage selection, the Oyu'baat sold a blend of spiced caf for which the cantina was well known even among non-Mandalorians. The tapcaf prepared soups and a number of other food dishes, including a meat and vegetable stew. Mandalorian folk humor insisted that the same stew had been left to simmer for centuries, only with fresh meat and vegetables thrown in daily, and it was said that the Oyu'baat's menu had remained the same since the time of the Mandalorian Wars. During the day, the bar area was bathed in sunlight from the skylights housed in the roof, and behind the bar, the current bounty-hunting list was displayed for Mandalorian patrons who pursued bounty hunter work, as both a holodisplay and with flimsi posters.
At the far end of the main room, opposite to the Oyu'baat's entrance, was a large, open log fire. The fire was surrounded by a wide alcove that could host more than a dozen individuals, and was a particularly popular choice for patrons to gather around. A noisy, automated hot-air unit provided additional heat to rest of the Oyu'baat. The Oyu'baat's interior was clean, yet rustic, decorated with vivid tapestries depicting various events and figures from the Mandalorian culture's long history; many favored shades of deep red in their composition. The ancient cantina's main hall was often noisy, and featured a large holovid viewscreen commonly used to watch sporting events, in addition to boards for playing cu'bikad, a rough Mandalorian table game. Broad galleries overlooked the large main chamber from the Oyu'baat's second and third floors. Part hotel, the Oyu'baat's upper levels had a number of rooms interested parties could rent, for overnight periods or longer, and were reached by a staircase at the rear of the main hall. The stairway also concealed a hidden panel which led to a secret, office-sized space within the Oyu'baat that few knew about. The cantina smelled of the wood fire, yeast from the brewing ale, and the scents of various cooking foods. With the exception of rare special occasions, the Oyu'baat was always open for business.
- "Fenn Shysa's just accepted the kyr'bes. He's our new Mand'alor. The ale's flowing in the Oyu'baat."
- ―A Mandalorian man speaking to Kal Skirata
Constructed in Mandalore's capital city of Keldabe prior to the start of the Mandalorian Wars, a galaxy-spanning war of conquest between the Mandalorian warrior clans under Mandalore the Ultimate and the Galactic Republic, the Oyu'baat was the oldest cantina on the planet Mandalore. The Oyu'baat's prominence made it a convenient meeting place for Mandalorians in the Keldabe area, and the tapcaf became an unofficial center for the loose government formed by the Mandalorian warrior clans. Due to Mandalore's lack of formal government buildings, clan chieftains often met at the Oyu'baat to discuss matters and broker deals, usually over drinks. Over the ages, the Oyu'baat also developed a degree of notability among non-Mandalorians, along with the blend of spiced caf the cantina served. Throughout its history, the Oyu'baat's outer plaster facade had been painted in a variety of colors, including brown, pale grey, and a vivid orange—a color traditionally associated with the concept of shereshoy, or a lust for life, in the Mandalorian culture. By the time of the Clone Wars, a conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the cantina's plastered exterior had begun to succumb to excessive wear, with chunks falling from the walls and revealing the Oyu'baat's multi-layered history.
In 19 BBY, the Oyu'baat was staffed by a male bartender. That year, the cantina was selected as a meeting place between chieftain Fenn Shysa and the Grand Army of the Republic deserter, Fi Skirata. There, Shysa attempted to persuade the clone soldier to act as former Mand'alor Jango Fett's heir until a new Mand'alor could be selected. However, Skirata was still recovering from brain trauma suffered during a mission he had been apart of while still in service to the Republic, and with the support of girlfriend Parja Bralor, declined Shysa's request. Though Shysa was sympathetic to Skirata's plight, violence broke out when the former Jedi-turned-Mandalorian Bardan Jusik, arrived at the Oyu'baat. There to meet with Skirata and Bralor, Jusik was accosted by the former ARC trooper deserter, Sull, who recognized Jusik as his former Jedi General and confronted him with accusations. When it seemed as if Sull might have drawn his blaster on Jusik, Skirata punched the Alpha ARC reflexively, and Shysa was forced to break up the scuffle. Later that year, Fi Skirata's adopted father, Kal Skirata, met with Shysa at the Oyu'baat to discuss the future of Mandalore in the wake of the transformation of the Republic into the new Galactic Empire, and their leasing of land on Mandalore for a base. At this time, Skirata's was one of many names on the bounty list projected behind the Oyu'baat's bar. During the meeting, Skirata suggested Shysa take up the role of Mand'alor, which Shysa accepted a short time after, in the face of the arrival of the Imperial garrison; celebrations were held at the Oyu'baat once word of Shysa's ascension spread.
- "Don't worry. Imperials don't come in here. Made sure of it."
- ―The Oyu'baat's bartender
As the Empire arrived on Mandalore, the Oyu'baat's bartender secured a deal with the Imperials to keep them from entering the cantina, fearful of the business he stood to loose if prospective patrons were unwilling to remove their helmets in the presence of the Empire's troops. Three weeks after the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Mandalorian friends Jarkyc and Hayar came to the Oyu'baat, celebrating a con they had pulled on the commander of the Imperial garrison on Mandalore. The pair's loud laughter drew the attention of fellow patrons, including Bardan Jusik and Ordo Skirata, who had stopped into the Oyu'baat for a drink. When Jusik inquired as to what had them laughing so hard, Jarkyc explained that Hayar's brother had built an adventure theme park to attract offworld tourists, though it had failed and never opened. When the Imperial commander took an interest in the park, shaped like an enormous mythosaur skeleton, Jarkyc and his comrades told the Imperials that the park was actually a Mandalorian temple with great cultural significance; wanting to make a statement to Mandalore's inhabitants, the commander bought the failed park from them and installed the garrison and base on what he falsely believed to be sacred ground. By large, the Oyu'baat's many patrons joined Jarkyc and Hayar in laughter at the story. Several weeks later, Kal Skirata and Walon Vau, stopped into the Oyu'baat for drinks while discussing the reappearance of their old Cuy'val Dar associates Dred Priest and Isabet Reau on Mandalore with ties to the renegade Death Watch faction.
In the aftermath of the New Mandalorians' fall and the dissolution of the criminal Shadow Collective, elements of the Black Sun syndicate had moved to fill the void the fleeting criminal contingent had left. By 18 BBY, the syndicate established a known presence on Mandalore's moon, Concordia, and Tyno Fabris—lieutenant to the Black Sun Vigo Xizor—had taken up residence in Keldabe, where the Arkanian gangster worked out of an office in the Oyu'baat cantina. Around 18 BBY, the Jedi Knight-in-hiding Jax Pavan journeyed to Mandalore in search of information on the missing leader of Whiplash, Thi Xon Yimmon, who had been captured by the Empire. During his time on the Mandalorian homeworld, he met with Tyno Fabris at the Oyu'baat several times while attempting to enlist Black Sun's aid in his mission, occasionally stopping for a drink at the bar and engaging the Oyu'baat's Balosar waitress Tlinetha in conversation. Though he initially approached Fabris under an assumed name, Pavan's true identity came to light when Fabris contacted Vigo Xizor about the deal being brokered; Xizor, who had previous dealings with Pavan, journeyed to Mandalore to meet with the fugitive Jedi at the Oyu'baat in person. The two initially came to an arrangement, but Xizor later went back upon his word after reassessing the risk of Imperial reprisal Black Sun would be taking by aiding the Jedi recover the leader of Whiplash. Fighting broke out between Pavan and Xixor's Mandalorian bodyguards when the Vigo has his men turn on the Jedi, forcing Pavan to flee the cantina by way of a window he broke out using the Force, inadvertently knocking a section of the surrounding wall free as he made his escape. The damage to the Oyu'baat was later repaired, and Pavan was able to depart Mandalore unharmed.
- "Goran just commed to say he's down at the Oyu'baat and you're not going to believe what showed up in an X-wing."
"A Jedi. He thinks its Jaina Solo."
- ―Medrit Vasur to Boba Fett
The Oyu'baat outlasted the decades-long occupation of Mandalore by the Empire's forces, who were eventually overcome and driven from Mandalorian space by Fenn Shysa and his army of Mandalorian Protectors. The ages-old cantina also survived the Yuuzhan Vong War, weathering the devastation Mandalore incurred at the hands of the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong race in an attempt to destroy the several thousand-year-old warrior culture. However, the Oyu'baat's longstanding role as meeting place for the clans' leaders was encroached upon in 40 ABY by the construction of MandalMotors Hall, a granite communal building donated to the community by the MandalMotors starship company.
Following the discovery of a previously untapped lode of beskar iron ore north of the small Mandalore town of Enceri, numerous Mandalorians flocked to the Oyu'baat to celebrate the economic boost the iron find would provide Mandalore. Reigning Mand'alor Boba Fett attended the gathering, as it had become a habit to visit the ancient cantina at least once a weak, as a means of keeping spirits high among the Mandalorian patrons. That night, Fett's friend Goran Beviin discussed news from the wider galaxy with a retinue of associates, while several Oyu'baat customers—including Baltan Carid, Beviin's husband and daughter, Medrit Vasur and Dinua Jeban, and Fett's granddaughter Mirta Gev—played cu'bikad at one of the bar's tables. Later, Fett and his granddaughter Gev met with Venku Skirata and an elderly Bardan Jusik, now going by the name "Gotab," at the Oyu'baat. Using his Force abilities, Gotab read a broken heart-of-fire pendant for Fett that used to belong to his ex-wife, Sintas Vel. Due to the painfully private nature of the reading, Fett used his authority as Mand'alor to order the bar evacuated of other patrons until their business was concluded.
By 41 ABY, Cham Detta had become the bartender of the Oyu'baat. Frequent customer Baltan Carid joked during this time that, despite the Oyu'baat's policy forbidding strills from entering the premises, the hotel and tapcaf's executive suite was occupied by a strill. Boba Fett's personal doctor, Beluine, was arranged to stay in a room at the Oyu'baat during his time on Mandalore. When Jedi Knight Jaina Solo traveled to Mandalore that year, seeking the aid of Fett in stopping her Sith Lord brother, Darth Caedus, she landed at the Keldabe spaceport and was promptly taken to the Oyu'baat to meet with Fett. Solo's arrival at the cantina came in the midst of a bolo-ball tournament that a number of Mandalorians had come to the Oyu'baat to watch on the bar's large viewscreen; when she was outed as a Jedi by passerby Gotab, the tapcaf's patrons drew their weapons on Solo, until she offered an explanation for her presence. Upon meeting with Solo at the Oyu'baat several minutes later, Fett agreed to teach her and instructed Solo to take a room at the Oyu'baat for the duration of her stay, though Goran Beviin instead offered her the hospitality of his family's farm. On the day of his granddaughter's marriage to Mandalorian soldier Ghes Orade, Fett met with Imperial Admiral Natasi Daala at the Oyu'baat: the two were alone, as most of the Mandalorians who would have otherwise been present were instead celebrating the nuptials at the home of Ghes Orade's father, including the bartender. Fett and Daala talked of their pasts, and discussed the future, before departing to attend the marital celebration of Fett's granddaughter.
Behind the scenes
The Oyu'baat first appeared in Star Wars canon in the 2007 Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novel, Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice by author Karen Traviss. Traviss again made use of the Oyu'baat as a locale in her fourth and fifth entries to the Republic and Imperial Commando series, entitled Order 66 and Imperial Commando: 501st, in addition to her third Legacy of the Force novel, Legacy of the Force: Revelation. The 2013 novel The Last Jedi, co-written by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, again featured the Oyu'baat.
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- Imperial Commando: 501st
- The Last Jedi
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice (First appearance)
- Legacy of the Force: Revelation