If one moment really sells the sci-fi universe of the original Star Wars movie (aka A New Hope if you’re that way inclined) it’s the Mos Eisley cantina and its band.
Packed with aliens of all shapes and sizes and accompanied by the legendary musical stylings of Figrin Da’n and the Modal Nodes, the cantina gives a real sense of the size, scope and culture of George Lucas’ universe, and it’s no surprise that the franchise has returned to the extraterrestrial hospitality and music industry more than once in later films.
Sometimes it’s just a watering hole filled with aliens, sometimes there’s musical accompaniment. For example, Return of the Jedi had another band in Jabba’s Palace, the prequels had Dexter’s diner and The Force Awakens had Maz Kanata’s castle, complete with another alien group (performing a song by Lin-Manuel Miranda and JJ Abrams).
But have we been denied another classic cantina band moment? According to new concept art released online, at one stage a new cantina band was planned for latest saga movie The Rise of Skywalker, specifically during the portion of the movie set on the planet Kijimi.
Star Wars Concept artist Adam Brockman released his cantina band idea on Instagram, showing off a group of helmeted musicians playing a collection of otherworldly instruments (that look a bit like pan pipes and a keytar) and noting that “"very cantina needs a band".
Sadly, these guys never got to perform. But who knows? Maybe they’ll crop up again somewhere on a distant world in a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is available on Disney+, Sky Cinema and physical release