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on February 11, 2004
"Mos Eisley Spaceport," says Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker as they stand on a mesa overlooking the Tatooine metropolis in a transition scene in Episode IV. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be careful."
Of all the many eye-catching and memorable sequences in Star Wars (aka Episode IV: A New Hope), the fateful meeting between Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, and a pair of smugglers with a starship for hire is perhaps the most intriguing. It's not only important dramatically or even as far as the change in the film's pacing goes (from this point on, there will be chases, shootouts, rescues, and battles), it's also visually intriguing. The dim lighting, the tense atmosphere, all those aliens, and, of course, that funky cantina band playing Benny Goodman-like tunes.
Of course, in the film, the focus was on Kenobi, Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca as they negotiated a charter flight to Alderaan. But there were others in the cantina that day on Tatooine...many other minor players and eyewitnesses on that fateful day. Who were they? What about their stories? What were some of them doing in Chalmun the Wookiee's Mos Eisley speakeasy?
Star Wars: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, edited by novelist Kevin J. Anderson (The Jedi Academy Trilogy), is a collection of 16 original short stories set during and after the events depicted in Star Wars: A New Hope. Within such stories as Kathy Tyers "We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale" there are little tidbits of heretofore unknown data that add depth and nuance to the scene in the film. Want to know the name of the cantina band? (It's Figrin Da'n and the Modal Nodes). What are those two women who look like twins doing in the cantina? (I'm not giving any more free info away Timothy Zahn's "Hammertong" to find out.) All 16 stories are well-written and move almost as fast as the Millennium Falcon, and they all seem to fit into the Star Wars storyline without feeling, well, forced.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this anthology was discovering that authors better known for writing about the Star Trek universe also moonlight in the Star Wars Galaxy. A.C. Crispin, who has written such Trek classics as Yesterday's Son contributed "Play It Again, Figrin Da'n: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe," while Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens wrote "One Last Night in the Mos Eisley Cantina: The Tale of the Wolfman and the Lamproid." Reading these stories and marveling at how they captured the essence of George Lucas' "galaxy far, far away," I realized that they are not only good writers of Star Trek fiction, but they are good writers, period.
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on July 7, 2003
The Mos Eisley cantina is the setting for only a single brief, if pivotal, scene in the first Star Wars film. (That's A New Hope for those of you who weren't around when it opened in theaters the first time.) It is there we first see the formidable fighting skills of Obi-Wan Kenobi, get our first glimpse of the hirsute Chewbacca and witness the cunning ruthlessness of Han Solo (at least in the original version; George Lucas applied revisionist history to the recent re-release, spoiling a good scene by making Solo play nice with the bad guy). It also provided us with a quick glimpse of the many diverse lifeforms that populate the spacefaring regions of the Empire.
Star Wars: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina provides a peek into those lives via 16 short stories, each intertwined in some way with the characters and events of that brief movie scene. Each character has little beyond a split-second cameo in the film, a flash on the screen to demonstrate the cutting edge in alien makeup. Now, each has a story.
Each also gives readers a slightly different perspective on the droids' failed entrance into the cantina, and each has a different angle on Kenobi's fight at the bar and Greedo's demise. The stories unfold like a great Tatooine tapestry
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on August 12, 1996
"Who was that guy in the bar in Star Wars...?" So many of my discussions about Star Wars have started that way. I always wanted to know who the heck these people were, well, now I know. The tales in Star Wars Tales From Mos Eisley Cantina (SWTFMEC) are woven together into a rich tapestry of knowledge by Kevin J. Anderson. I was most impressed ("Most impressive" -Darth Vader) with how each tale was part of the larger tale we know and love as Star Wars. Events in one story had consequences in all the other stories. Each story stands alone very well, but the WHOLE STORY is much more than the sum of its parts. To better understand the events in Star Wars, one need only read Star Wars: Tales From Mos Eisley Cantina. My advice to you is to drop whatever book might be in your hand and pick up SWTFMEC, right now!!! Well, why are you still reading my review??? GO GET THE BOOK, it's available here. ***This message was not endorsed by anyone but me, you can buy the book wherever Bantam Spectra paperbacks, uh, paperbacks are sold. So once again, I am not in the employ of anyone involved with bringing you this book (that means can really trust my review because I am not getting paid to do this.)**
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on June 13, 2000
Anyone who has ever seen Star Wars must admit that by far the most facinating part of that movie was the bar scene where young Luke Skywalker and Obie Won Kenobie meet Han Solo for the first time. Above all classic scenes in Science Fiction history, these few minutes are a George Lucas masterpeice. Now consider this, what about all those other characters in the bar that evening? How did they wind up there, and what happened to them before they arrived there or after they left that evening? A facinating concept to say the least! That is what this collection of stories is about. It is compiled by several talented authors with wonderful imaginations and all edited by Kevin J. Anderson to create a most enjoyable and adventurous read. It does fantastic credit to the movie, and at the same time expands your viewpoint of how you look at it. After reading this collection, I was compelled to que up my VCR and review the famous Star Wars bar scene over and over again! I found this book incredibly entertaining and it is still one of my favorites. It's very simple, but good quality entertainment. You will enjoy reading this one again and again.
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on March 28, 2001
While I am fairly well versed in Star Wars literature, this was the first of the tales books I've read, and I have to say I was impressed. It's amazing how many other struggles between life and death were going on at the same time as A New Hope. Each story in this book is excellently well crafted, and it is amazing how just about every character in the Mos Eisely Cantina scene not only had a name, but also an intire backround as to what they happened to be doing and why by pure chance they happened to be there on that particular fateful afternoon. Also, in order to read this book one doesn't have to be particularly well versed in Star Wars, unlike many of the other novels, which are practically impossible to read unless you have read every single one that takes place before it. This book only requires that you have seen the movies. The authors were chosen well too, and I recognized many of them as authors of Star Wars novels I have read. The stories are: We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale, this is the story of Figrin Da'an and the Model Nodes, the band who was playing in that scene.
A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale, as you can probably tell from the title, this story is about Greedo the bounty hunter, and is surprising heartfelt and sad.
Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonika Sisters", at last I know what a Mistryl is! This story tells of the two women masquerading as the Tonika sisters in that scene.
Play it Again, Figrin Da'an: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe, a heartwarming story of friendship and love.
The Sand Tender: The Hammerhead's Tale, a sad and haunting story of an exiled Ithorian caught under the heel of the Empire.
Be Still My Heart: The Bartender's Tale, ever wonder about the sweaty bartender who orders Threepio and Artoo out? this is a surprising sweet story of how even the most hardened people can eventually be reached.
Nightlily: The Lover's Tale, one of my least favorites, but still a pretty interesting story, very surprising ending.
Empire Blues: The Deveronian's Tale, a somewhat depressing story about the little devil guy hanging around the cantina.
Swap Meet: The Jawa's tale, an interesting story of a Jawa overcoming fear to take revenge on a pack of imperials, we don't get the true outcome until we read the next story.
Tradewins: The Ranat's Tale, a companion story to the previous one, have to read one to understand the other.
When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale, even Imperials are human beings, just like anyone else, learn the name of the "Look Sir, Droids" stormtrooper!
Soup's On: The Pipesmoker's Tale, possible the most disgusting of them all.
At The Cross Roads: The Spacer's tale, the guy who Ben talked to before Han.
Docter Death: The Tale of Docter Eveson and Ponda Baba: ever wonder what happened to the guy who picked a fight with Ben?
Drawing the Maps of Peace: The Moisture Farmer's Tale, a sad, but uplifting story of people like Owen and Beru.
One Last Night in the Mos Eisely Cantina: a fitting finale, and extemly haunting story.
Anyway I would recommend this book to any Star Wars fan, especially those just getting into Star Wars since it provides very interesting backround.
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on August 28, 2000
This is the "tales" book that started it all, and what a way to start!
Some highlights include: 1. We Don't Do Weddings: The Band's Tale, a funny story about everyone's favorite jizz band, Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. 2. Soup's On: The Pipe Smoker's Tale, a very bizarre story about how the guy with the pipe hunts down his victims...3. At The Crossroads: The Spacer's Tale is a very cool story about the guy that Obi-Wan talks to first and is directed to Chewie by. You'll love how he relates to Han and Chewie and his impressions of the strange Jedi who talked to him. 4. A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale is a funny story that shows the reader how pathetic he actually was. 5. The Sand Tender: The Hammerhead's Tale is nice because it gives background info on a cantina character that was actually seen again in later Star Wars novels. 6. Doctor Death: The Tale of Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba is great! Dr. Evazan is truly a twisted individual! 7. Drawing the Maps of Peace: The Moisture Farmer's Tale is very well written. It is about the struggles of a man much like Owen Lars who has to lay down the law with marauding Tusken Raiders.
There are sixteen excellent stories in this book by some of the best sci-fi writers around. This book is a definite must-own for any Star Wars fan! Buy it now and see which tales you like the best and get your VCR ready to find all of these cool characters. Happy hunting!
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on April 30, 2002
All those nagging Star Wars questions have now been answered. This fact filled book will give you an in-depth view of the cantina characters who have forged themselves into the darkest, most deepest part of you cerebellum. Imagine! Purchase this book and you'll no longer have to wonder.....
1. Whatever happened to Greedo's body after Han killed him?
2. Whatever became of Ponda Baba and the doctor after their run-in with ObiWan?
3. How did the band get their gig and what were those instruments they played?
4. Learn who the dude is at the bar smoking from a hookah? (Hint: He wants you soup)
5. The two chicks with the dark hair? (Hint: they are in disguise)
6. Why does the bartender hate droids?
7. Hammerhead is an exiled priest who talks to plants?
8. How did Han escape from Hanger 94 so easily? (Hint: A Stormtrooper went renegade and shot his leader in the back)
9. What the hell is that giant polar bear looking thing sitting at the table (Hint: He's a thief, not an albino Wookie)
10. So what's it like to be a Jawa on a mission of death?
You'll no longer wonder, now that the truth is finally here!
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on April 17, 1998
I was rather surprised by this book. I thought it wasn't going to be that great, anthologies tend not to be, especially after some of the excellent work I've seen done in the Star Wars novels. Admittedly, some stories were better than others. WE DON'T DO WEDDINGS by Kathy Tyers: the first story in this anthology was dull, boring, etc. etc. GREEDO'S TALE by Tom Veitch and Martha Veitch: I'll be the first to admit it was interstesting to learn the background of Greedo, probably one of the most memorable bit characters in the series, he only had a walk-on part and he was dead. I like the fact that the authors made Greedo out to be a bumbler and not some hot-shot bounty hunter. It shows that some people (aliens) are just too full of themselves, though what it seemed mostly was that Greedo just wanted some acceptance. HAMMERTONG by Zahn: well, i didn't like it. PLAY IT AGAIN by Crispin: nothing spectacular, but a good story THE HAMMERHAND'S TALE by dave wolverton: it was nice to learn about the alien who you only get a glimpse of in the movie (and that's it), but still he is one you don't forget (i think there was even an action figure of him). BARTENDER'S TALE by Bischoff: Excellent story. And he was a somewhat central character throughout most of the stories. NIGHTLILY by Hambly: It was an okay story, but I really liked how it ended. EMPIRE BLUES by Moran: such passiont this Devoronian shows towards music, that I can understand, but still, I think they could have found a more interesting story, but then again... JAWA'S TALE by Anderson: I'm surprised, Anderson doesn't usually disapoint me, but he did this time. I know I don't find the Jawas interesting to begin with, and the story just didn't grip me. TRADE WINS by Moesta: the only point to this story was to flesh out Anderson's. THE STORMTROOPER'S TALE by Doug Beason: This was probably the best story in the collection, in fact I'd like to see more of this character and what he did to help the rebellion. SOUP'S ON by Roberson: by far the worst tale in the collection AT THE CROSSROADS by Jerry Oltion: I liked this one. I got a kick out of it. DOCTOR DEATH by Kenneth Flint: Another excellent tale. Once again I got a kick out of the ending MOISTURE FARMER'S TALE by M. Shayne Bell: Another excellent story, though I really haven't figure out his connection to the cantina ONE LAST NIGHT by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens: Like Anderson, these two rarely disapoint me, but they did here. I don't know, it felt like a cheesey cop out (like the star trek time travel stories). One of the worst stories in the collection. All in all it was a good anthology and I recommend it. But you do get tired of reading about Ben's fight in the cantina and Han blasting Greedo. If you don't mind this repetition (and it is usually only a sentence or two) it's okay. I did like the wayt the stories all fed off of each other, many thanks to Anderson for that.
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on June 13, 2013
If like me you love to know the side stories of lesser known characters this is a novel catering to you. It highlights the lives of the motley crew of characters we see briefly in the cantina in Star Wars A New Hope.

I found the creativity behind the individual's tales the most enjoyable aspect of this collection of short stories. The path's that lead each of these people to the cantina are diverse, dramatic and exciting.

Everyone will have their own favorite stories. But I really enjoyed the moisture farmer, the wolfman, the stormtrooper. That's the beauty of this collection there is something in here for every reader. It might not be a bad read for the casual Star Wars fan as well because you would only have to have seen the first movie to be able to relate to the characters.

I recommend you to read and enjoy.
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on November 19, 1997
I'm a very big Star Wars fan,and I love to read the books. I wont lie this one wasn't the best. I like reading about some of the people from the cantina, but some of the stories were boring. If you can make it through the boring ones you love the rest. The Stromtrooper tale is probably the best. It starts with a man Davin Felth going to train to be a Stromtooper. Then he was going to be a AT-AT piolt, and ends up being a Stromtooper. Thats the only bad thing about the stroy is he goes from one thing to the other. It does tell much of what happens in the middle. Other than that it was great. If your a die hard Star Wars fan read this book, if your not you will probably waste your time and not finish it. Bill Smith (CYRI06 its a i and a zero)
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