LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina 75290 Review & Lighting Journal

Our designers had barely a moment to breathe after completing the mammoth project that was designing the Wizarding Worlds most famous street, before blasting off into the galaxies outer rim! But certainly no one was complaining, as LEGO has truely outdone themselves once again with this set! In another parallel to Diagon Alley, the Mos Eisley Cantina also had an older, simpler LEGO release many moons ago, however once more this is a full upgrade in every sense!

Receiving the 18+ Master Builder black box treatment, the set is a super star sized 3187 pieces and once built, measures over 19cm high, 52cm wide and 58cm deep. It's designed for both play and display, looking great either closed as an exterior set or opened up to reveal an amazing LEGO recreation of the Star Wars universes most memorable dive bar.

We’ll get to the mini figures in a second, but also worth noting are the great additional vehicles and structures included. A V-35 Landspeeder, a great Dewback model and of course the deep fan cut of Greedo’s ultra obscure landpod!

You’ve heard about the wretched scum and villainy, well they are all represented here in minigfigure form, 21 in total! We’ve noticed LEGO have been adding more and more detail to their mini figures of late. Specially molded heads and additional attention to detail really makes this set stand out. We can’t pick a favorite but the Imperial Spy Garindan? The aforementioned Greedo is right up there though!

Speaking of Greedo, the lounge where Han fired (first) the blast that ended the green gangster's life is of course a big feature of the build. We were all eager to put it together and recreate the scene! We'd waited long enough!

Tearing into the bags we proceeded to work through the instructional guide, step by step. All up we spent about 6 hours constructing the entire set, including the extras like Greedo's dome-like shuttle.

Ok, no happening Tatooine drinking hole is complete without some mood lighting, that's where we step in! We wanted to be true to the cinematic aspects of the set while still having as much fun lighting up the LEGO set as possible.
Ultimately this meant a dark, subtle interior contrasted with the bright, fluorescent, glowing center piece of the bar. This is how the location is portrayed in the film and so we used this as a jump-off point for our design process. Starting with the bar we employed our super bright white strip lights to create the dazzling lit panel effect.

In contrast we then moved to the outer lounge areas that house the famous cantina band and also the booth where everyone's favorite Rodian had his last drink. The challenge here was not to over light the rest of the set after creating such an intensely bright bar area. The answer was to pull back on the number of bit lights used and also to encase them inside LEGO pieces wherever possible and let the contours and colors of the set create shadows and mood where possible.

The team innovated once again by taking the lamps arranged throughout the interior of the cantina and housing a bit light inside each one. Normally we'd switch out the trans clear round tile here with a trans clear plate to let the LED really shine. This situation however, called for something a little different. We decided to leave the trans clear tile as and instead, swap out the white plate underneath with one with an open stud in order to create a subtle, muted glowing effect. The result is perfect, if we may say so ourselves!

Almost there. Next came the additional vehicles. While we were really tempted to take some creative license and light them up the same way we would a craft like the Razor Crest, both the V-35 and Greedo's transportation are landspeeders, not shuttles capable of launching into hyperspace. If we were to be true to the subject matter, they should both only be minimally lit.

The final addition to point out are the twin spotlights added atop the moisture vaporators. While strictly speaking we’re taking a little creative licence here as the structures are not exactly light posts. However, the design team felt it both important and a great opportunity to add some ambient light to play set. Allowing the structure’s form to be lit and stand alone as a complete display. Who knows, maybe there’s a Tatooine based architect/engineer out there that will find inspiration in our design innovation! :)

There we have it! Mos Eisley Cantina. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy!

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