The first teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story has finally arrived and now therefore seems like a perfect opportunity to visit Chalmun's Cantina where the eponymous smuggler was introduced during Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
75205 Mos Eisley Cantina is the third rendition of this famous location, the most recent of which was released just four years ago. This set is not dissimilar to its predecessor from 2014 but includes a brand new Wuher figure along with the unconventional Ubrikkian 9000 speeder which makes a brief appearance in the movie. I have therefore been looking forward to building the set and hope it will match the high quality of 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina.
A new hair piece was introduced for Han Solo in 2016. This element features some delightful textured detail and matches the source material nicely, much like the head. I love the tiny scar printed on Han's chin while the smiling and frowning expressions, both of which are ideally suited to the character, look superb. It might be nice to see a new design though as the same element has been in consistent use for several years.
Han's black vest includes some subtle stitching and a row of pockets which continue onto the back of the torso. I like the wrinkled shirt underneath as well, although the flesh on the chest appears washed out beside the colour of the head which is disappointing. However, the dark blue legs look marvellous and the holster is impressively detailed too, including a metallic silver buckle at the centre. As usual, Han is armed with a blaster pistol.
Greedo has appeared in each of the three Mos Eisley Cantina sets and has been updated every time. This version wears a dark orange jacket, like the previous version, but the shading and detail has been greatly enhanced. Furthermore, the belt has been moved from the bounty hunter's hips to the torso so is now more faithful to the film and I like the reddish brown holster straps printed across his legs very much.
Unfortunately, Greedo lacks arm printing. This is a distinctive feature of the character in the movie so I would have liked to see it here, particularly since the figure from 2004's 4501 Mos Eisley Cantina did include printing on the arms. Nevertheless, the sand green head looks fantastic, featuring considerable moulded detail and wonderful speckled eyes. Like Han, Greedo is equipped with a black blaster pistol in readiness for their confrontation.
Past models of the Mos Eisley Cantina have included Han, Greedo and members of the Modal Nodes but Wuher, the bartender, has been absent. This minifigure should therefore prove extremely popular and I think it looks great, featuring a suitably unkempt hair style and scruffy facial hair. I like the scar beneath his right eye and the two expressions, one of which looks very surly while the other appears angry, are excellent as well.
Wuher wears a loose fitting shirt which leaves some chest hair exposed, just as in the film. The creased fabric detail looks good and I am glad to have another generic torso which could be used for a number of different Star Wars characters. He comes with a blaster pistol which can be clipped behind the bar and some trans-clear cups are also included for serving drinks.
A lone Sandtrooper completes the minifigure selection. This figure also appeared in 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina, although he now wears a white fabric pauldron which denotes a sergeant and the design of his survival backpack has been updated. I love the detailed printing across the helmet, legs and both sides of the torso, all of which feature the standard Stormtrooper designs but are encrusted with sand.
The Clone Trooper head remains in use on Imperial personnel and has now appeared in a total of 79 sets since 2013. I would like to see a new design after so many years and a little variety between the Stormtroopers in different sets would be welcome, reflecting the unique people beneath the armour who have been a subject of several stories in recent years. The Sandtrooper is armed with a black blaster rifle.
The Completed Model
The Ubrikkian 9000 speeder has not appeared in a set before, as one may expect given its obscurity. I am always pleased to see less prominent characters and vehicles like this one in LEGO, although this is a particularly unusual example and there are other aspects of the Mos Eisley Cantina which would have been more appealing. Nevertheless, this is a reasonable rendition of the spherical craft, featuring accurate markings on every side.
Trans-clear 3x3 dishes represent the four windows. This makes sense but black pieces would have looked much more authentic when compared with the vehicle in the movie as the trans-clear elements expose the ball joints underneath. I like the dark red and dark blue stripes though, despite their reliance upon stickers. The landing gear underneath looks good too but the lower half of the sphere is not wide enough in relation to the source material.
A stud shooter is fitted on top of the speeder which is useful for play but I think it looks terrible so would be inclined to remove it. Opening the hinged hatch on top reveals space for a single pilot as well as a printed control console which is rather nice, although there is no clip for a blaster. Interesting though this vehicle is, I would have preferred a couple of extra minifigures in its place or simply a smaller set focused entirely upon the cantina.
This version of the cantina is immediately reminiscent of 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina, consisting of three modules which include the bar, the entrance and an alcove with two seats. The 2014 model featured an area for the Modal Nodes too but they are not present here. I like the idea of joining the modules using clips but it is not possible to adjust the orientation of each section very much or rearrange them which feels like a missed opportunity to me.
Each module stands on a dark tan plate and the bar is the smallest of the three. I like the pearl gold dispenser pipes behind the counter and the curved shape looks great, closely replicating the source material. However, the counter top is missing from the curved section of the bar so it looks odd beside the properly finished corners. I realise that building a curved counter top must be tricky but to leave it out entirely is disappointing.
The printed 1x2 slope representing a cash register works well though and I like the hidden blaster pistol clipped beside the register. A couple of trans-red and trans-lime green drinks are also available behind the bar, matching the film precisely. I would have preferred this area to be larger given its importance but the model is rather nicely detailed and thankfully it finally comes with Wuher to serve refreshments!
Tatooine possesses a harsh arid climate and the exterior of the Mos Eisley Cantina looks appropriately weathered. I like the combination of tan and dark elements along with a few textured bricks, although a small gear prevents you from pushing the entrance and alcove sections together fully. Even so, I think this side of the model looks pretty good and it could certainly be displayed from the outside if you wish.
An Aurebesh sign which reads 'cantina' hangs over the door. The same detail is visible in the film and I like the printed door control panel which was created for the Nexo Knights theme and is quite rare, having only appeared in six previous sets. A tab on the right of the entrance allows you to open the sliding door. This is a simple function but it works well and I like the 1x2 grille bricks on the door.
A droid detector is fixed to the wall inside. This is decorated with two stickers so looks pretty good when compared with the movie, although it is unfortunate that there is no space for seating near the entrance. 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina fared better in that respect and included a domed roof too. The 2018 model has no roof but I think the curved slopes on top of the walls look alright as an alternative.
The third module includes two seats for Han Solo and Greedo. I like the curved archway above the alcove and the detail in this area is impressive, featuring stripes along the walls, two reddish brown light fixtures and a small window. The chairs look superb and the table in the centre is similarly faithful to the source material. It should be slightly further from the chairs but I think the current design works given the proportions of minifigures.
A cylindrical lamp rests on the table. This is absent from previous Mos Eisley Cantina sets but looks marvellous here, particularly since it glows in the dark! I have found that LEGO's recent glow-in-the-dark elements work really well and this lamp is no exception, beautifully capturing the cantina's mysterious atmosphere. Spares of the glow-in-the-dark 1x1 round plate and 1x1 round tile are included so you can almost build another matching lamp.
The seating booth hides a second play feature as well. Turning the small gears on either side will push a minifigure out of their chair, as though they have been shot. This is remarkably effective and does not interfere with the appearance of the seats at all. The gears on the exterior walls are less attractive but you could very easily imagine that they are simply mechanical details.
Remakes are an inevitable aspect of the LEGO Star Wars range and this is not an issue in my opinion, as long as they represent an improvement over the previous set or take a distinct approach to its design. Unfortunately, 75205 Mos Eisley Cantina is not entirely successful in that regard. Wuher is a welcome addition to the set and the seating alcove is more detailed than it was in 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina but I think the older model remains superior.
However, that set is no longer available and this is a good rendition of the cantina to replace it. I like the three modules and the Ubrikkian 9000 is an interesting model, despite its limited screen time. Furthermore, this version of Han Solo, sporting his famous smuggling attire, has only previously appeared in 75159 Death Star so should prove very popular! That being said, £44.99 in the UK feels rather expensive for a set of this size and the US price of $39.99 is only a little better so if you are looking to add the Mos Eisley Cantina to your collection, I suggest waiting for a discount.
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