Saturday, June 24, 2017

Alien Week - Mos Eisley Cantina Alien Rankings

Hey, everybody! It's been awhile since I've posted since I've been gone on vacation, but I'm back in the saddle. This week I decided to post something related to the Podcast Arcade's Alien Week going that is about to conclude, so please check out all the cool things the Arcade has put out this week! Thinking about what I wanted to write about, with stating on our podcast, Daydream Instruction Manual (or DIM), I said that one thing growing up that really got me started on aliens in the famous cantina scene in Star Wars - A New Hope. So taking that a step further, I figured I would rank the alien species that could be found in that set piece.


Now, let me get this straight, if I ranked all of the species that are in that scene, we would be here until the next Star Wars movie comes out in December. With that in mind, I narrowed it down to my Top 10.


What I find so awesome about this scene, not only is it in a 'space bar' in a trading outpost located in a "Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy", is that the Star Wars team created so many exotic aliens to fill this space. If the Star Destroyer chasing the Blockade Runner at the very outset of the movie didn't pull you in (how could it not?), this scene definitely grabbed your attention and made it feel like there is a whole galaxy full of life and crazy looking creatures. And the coolest thing growing up as a kid watching this, is THAT THEY ALL HAD THEIR OWN ACTION FIGURES!!!! (I know, I fell into the big trap of Star Wars merchandising.)


Not only did I have a bunch of these action figures, but I had books about the aliens in the cantina (most notably Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina) and Star Wars field guides that explained all about the planets in the galaxy and spaceships and all kinds of what not so I got plenty of lore about tons of these characters.


So without further ado, let's dive into the rankings!


Last - Yes, I have a last place because I felt they deserved to be included!


Devaronian




I put these guys last because I feel like they are basically space vampires. Or at least that's what I thought of them as a kid. They just look creepy, which I get is probably their intention of making them look this way. These guys I guess invented the hyperdrive systems and explored the galaxy way before the Clone Wars even started so I guess they are kind of a big deal. But who cares, they are creepy and they look like vampires, and after Twilight, no one should like vampires.


Tie for Last (Yes! We have a tie for last!)


Lamproid



I mean, why? Why would you create something that consists of nightmare fuel? Dice Ibegon, as this 'character' is named is a Lamproid, which is basically a large version of a real life lamprey and can be found in the ocean (which is dark and full of terrors). Lampreys latch onto you and suck your blood and are terrifying to see in real life as I saw some at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. I don't know about you guys, but if I walked into a bar (sounds like the start of a bad joke) and saw one of these things, I would turn around and walk right out. I know that the Cantina doesn't serve droids because they can't drink so they take up space, but how exactly does this thing work? I mean, come on!




10. Bith




Okay, we can now get into the real rankings. I know it might be low to some of you, but coming in at the back end of the top 10 is the real stars of the show, the Bith. Yes, they play some awesome music that you could sit and listen to all day, but let's be honest, they truly have faces for radio. Which is super convenient that they make music, but do they even have radio stations in Star Wars?


9. Morseerian




These aliens hail from the planet Merj and have four arms. They also breathe in methane through their masks. I put them in the list because they look cool, because anything that wears a mask and lives off methane gas has to be pretty bomb, right?


8. Duros




These guys probably look the most 'alien' of anyone in the cantina. If you think of Roswell, New Mexico and alien, you probably think of something similar to these guys. And look at those eyes! Blood red which is the universal sign for, "Don't mess with me punk or your blood will fill my eyes!" (At least that's what I think it means.)


7. Talz




I know what you're thinking, that this looks like a Yeti, because that's what my first initial reaction was. But this 'Yeti' actually has four eyes! The small ones are used for seeing in the day, and the large ones are night vision. That seems pretty legit. I wonder how they switch? Is it controllable or when someone shines a flashlight in their face do they freak the hell out? Their noses are used to also communicate, which you can see in the movie that it talks by rubbing his nose and it emits a weird sound. And in weird, I don't mean a harrowing roar that I feel a Yeti could make, but a little springing sound kind of like what Tigger makes bouncing around. Which I shouldn't feel too bad that it's not like a Yeti, because, well it isn't a Yeti.


6. Chadra-Fan




Of course this little guy is in the list! This is the real Bat Man. I guess these guys have two hearts, but even if one of them goes out, they die within a couple hours. Seems like it shouldn't be that way. Even though the one in the movie seems like a young kid, they don't grow over a meter tall. Which makes these guys the largest bats that I've ever seen (Man-bat doesn't count). Which I don't know if that is awesome or disgusting. Bats are gross.


5. Aqualish




One of the most famous aliens in the cantina, Ponda Baba, of Aqualish species hailing from the planet Ando. I would have put this race higher on the list, but this guy had to be such an ass to Luke for no reason other than he is just pissy. I mean, if I had a face that looked like a butt, maybe I would be constantly pissed like it's my job as well. This guy is so iconic though, he had to be on the list. Not because of the fact he got his arm sliced off by Obi-Wan, but because of his face. Isn't that what everybody wants? To have their face instantly recognizable? Well careful what you wish for Ponda Baba, you might get the backside of peoples' bodies slapped on it.


4. Ithorian




This guy's name is Momaw Nadon and for some reason just strikes me as awesome. Maybe it is because he just doesn't have a humanoid quality about him. These guys are called Hammerheads throughout the galaxy, except Stormtroopers make fun of them by calling them Leathernecks. Well, Stormtroopers, go work on your shooting skills! Ithorians also have two mouths, one on each side of their heads, to what purpose? Who cares!


3. Saurin



I don't know about you, but these guys look sweet. The guy is basically a humanoid dinosaur. I think he is the precursor to Bossk from Empire Strikes Back, who is arguably one of the top two aliens in the whole series. So that alone makes this guy awesome.

2. Defel



What makes this character so amazingly cool is that not only is he a space werewolf, but he was so scary that they cut him out of the special edition. Seriously, if you somehow can find footage before the 90s remastering, this guy was there but has since been replaced. Which is a shame, because just look at him! But fear not, as long as this blog is up, he lives on!


1. Rodian




If any of you know me personally, you would have had to known that the Rodian was going to be number 1. Greedo is probably my favorite character because that look is awesome. He basically has teal skin, wears an awesome blue space jumpsuit, speaks in a cool language, and then HAN SOLO PUNKS HIM! Yet another special edition sin by editing in the whole 'shot first' garbage. But that's an argument that has been discussed ad nauseum. As a kid, the look of these Rodians really struck me and instantly made them my favorite. Besides Ponda Baba, Greedo here is the only other one of this list that actually gets lines. And better than Ponda Baba, his lines get transcribed on the screen! So there!


So there you have it, my list of the Top 10 aliens that are in the cantina scene in A New Hope. Of course there are a bunch that I didn't include in this list, and maybe you readers have some additional ones. I know I left out Gotals, the Walrus man guy, and a couple others, but let me know which one you think should be in here. The fun thing is with this list is that some of these characters are only seen on screen for a couple of seconds if not half a second but they have become embedded into everyone's mind. So next time you watch this scene, watch out for all these characters!


Thanks for reading,


Mike G.