Mos Eisley, the primary spaceport and commercial hub of the planet that’s furthest from the bright center of the universe, has been an integral location in the Star Wars galaxy – appearing in no less than four movies, countless books, a huge number of video games, and at least one TV series.
This wretched hive of scum and villainy – which was founded by the survivors of the Dowager Queen colony ship – appears from a distance as a haphazard collection of low-set structures (whose architecture was inspired by the traditional buildings of Ajim, a ferry port and fishing village on the isle of Jerba located off the coast of Tunisia), but on closer inspection is an eclectic mix of businesses, residential domiciles, government buildings, an Imperial garrison, spaceport hangars, markets, shops and – of course- cantinas.
From the beginning of the design process, LEGO designer César Soares had planned to include a number of extra buildings with 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina to give the set a level of authenticity and extra playability – much like the Jawa cave he included in 75271 Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder, released as part of the Winter Wave in 2020.
Soares’s preliminary design – a brick-built sketch model he constructed early in 2016 when he started working for LEGO – included a couple of small buildings and a vaporator.
“I tried a lot of different options to work as the side builds, like several Tatooine buildings with many shapes and sizes, Docking Bay 94 or the Dowager Queen but in the end, the best and more consensual option was to include a couple more buildings so fans can also re-enact some of the outside scenes and at the same time offer play value” he explained in an interview with Brickset.
All four side builds are connected to the main cantina structure using interlocking clips and bars, and though there are prescribed anchor points there’s no reason you can’t find better locations than the front of the cantina, where the instructions direct you to place them.
When fans got their first look at 75270 Obi-Wan’s Hut when it was released at the start of 2020, they immediately began to speculate that the clips on the side were for a series of modular Tatooine buildings. Though they were wrong this time around – 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina designer César Soares has since confirmed that they were intended for accessory storage – the clips on Old Ben’s hermitage did foreshadow a feature that Soares did incorporate in his mega cantina model.
Inspired by a deleted shot of Toshe Station that was remastered for the Special Edition, Soares decided to capture the Mos Eisley architectural style, though neither of the two buildings makes direct references to any known Mos Eisley dwellings.
The first outbuilding comes across as a workshop – perhaps a droid repair facility run by Hrchek Kal Fas – while the other looks like a junk emporium run by the Jawa that is included in the set.
Both buildings incorporate bricks with different textures and colors to give them a suitable tired look that maintains the “used universe” aesthetic that George Lucas strived for. The eclectic collection of tools, junk and assorted paraphernalia – including very accurate cooling units – that decorates them certainly adds to the lived-in look.
Completing the side builds and adding to the overall Tatooine environment are the two moisture vaporators – those characteristic white spires that dot the desert landscape and allow advanced lifeforms to exist on such an arid planet.
Compared to all the other vaporators that have been released since 1999, these detailed and accurately-scaled models are easily the Ultimate Collector Series equivalent.
Our multi-part review of 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina continues in Part Three – The Saloon, a detailed rundown on the roughest pub in town.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.