Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina

January 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

mosTales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, edited by Kevin J. Anderson


I don’t read a lot of short stories, and I don’t read many collected anthologies, but I do read a lot of Star Wars, and since I’ve come this far into the project thus far, I powered on through this book. Like most anthologies, it’s a mixed bag, with some stories being more impactful than others, but this one elevates itself a bit by being more than just a collection of stories.

Most of the stories in Tales are interconnected. Some are connected more than others (there’s a pair smack in the middle of the book that couldn’t exist without each other), and on the one hand, it’s a little annoying, since I want my stories to stand well independently. Still, it’s impressive to look at the stories as more than individual stories and view the effort that went into making all of them relate to each other.

Because this is a collection of stories featuring the characters in the Mos Eisley Cantina, it means we get to see that familiar scene over, and over, and over again, since that’s the one moment that brings all these stories together. It’s interesting to see the different perspectives on the scene (and I’m talking about the whole thing, from when Obi-Wan and Luke enter, to when Han leaves), but it does try one’s patience.

We get some big-name characters here — Greedo, Dr. Evazan, and Ponda Baba the largest of them — but for the most part we learn about the tertiary characters who flash by only momentarily. The authors take the opportunity to add their own flair and detail to the Expanded Universe, not content just to tell us about what happened in the cantina. Instead, we get authors who create worlds and cultures and characters that last longer than just a momentary glance in a cool scene. They also delve into giving Tatooine further context, with a few of the stories talking about life on the planet and what it means.

My favorites of the bunch were the moisture farmer’s tale by M. Shayne Bell, Greedo’s tale by Tom and Martha Veitch, and “Nightlily” by Barbara Hambly. I also liked the story that concluded the anthology, which told about the Wolfman and the Lamproid, and was written by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. The rest were passable, with only one or two that didn’t do a thing for me. For an anthology, that’s a pretty good ratio. I like the conceit of the anthology best, and I’m hoping that the other books in the Tales series will follow this example.

Started: October 28, 2017
Finished: November 4, 2017

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