LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina review: Ending 2020 with LEGO’s largest Star Wars set of the year

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Today, we’re taking a look at the largest LEGO Star Wars creation of the year, and one of its most accurate models to date. Bringing one of the most iconic locations from A New Hope into a nearly 3,200-piece set, the new Mos Eisley Cantina packs 21 minifigures and plenty of authentic details into an eye-catching creation. But is this collectible creation worth the steep price tag? Head below for all of our thoughts and a closer look at the LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina in our latest hands-on review. 

Hands-on with the LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina

Debuting earlier this fall, the LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina launched as the largest Star Wars creation of the year and the most definitive version of the iconic location yet. We’ve seen the cantina assembled quite a few times from LEGO, but never quite like this. The 3,187-piece build delivers a full re-creation of the bar with a fully furnished interior and plenty of details from the films.

The entire kit looks just like you’d expect the cantina to look like from the outside, but folds open to reveal all of the action on the inside. There’s six seating nooks that flank the bar at the center and a few additional stools here and there to fill out the interior. Around the outside, there are some extra additions to build out the streets of Tatooine, including a pair of moisture vaporators and a little stable place for the included dewback to rest up. 

Connecting to the actual cantina section of the Mos Eisley set here, LEGO includes another section of Tatooine architecture in the form of a little Jawa shop. It’s a small build compared to the main portion of the set, but gives it a bit more playability, if that’s your thing. 

This isn’t modeled after any particular shop or location from the Star Wars films, but does a good job at expanding on the kind of store you’d expect to see while roaming around Mos Eisley. So sure, it’s more of an artistic liberty than a faithful addition to the on-screen setting, but LEGO gets a pass just for how neat of an add-on this is. 

LEGO assembles V-35 Courier for the first time

Alongside the actual structures that make up the Mos Eisley Cantina, LEGO includes some extra vehicles to really add to the bustling spaceport vibes here. There are three of these side builds in total, but we’ll start by checking out the V-35 Courier. 

Marking the very first time we’ve seen this landspeeder officially assembled, the build makes excellent usage of the allotted bricks and is easily one of the highlights from the set. And on top of being a classic vehicle from the Original Trilogy, the V-35 also recently made an appearance in The Mandalorian, which makes it even more of a notable inclusion. 

Next up, there’s also a new version of the Ubrikkian 9000 pod, which is another form of speeder from the Star Wars universe. It has an updated design from previous editions in the brick-built world, but isn’t as in-depth of a model as the landspeeder. The ship is pretty solid, all things considered, and adds another iconic piece of the Mos Eisley Cantina into the puzzle. 

The final main aspect of the build is an updated version of the dewback that the included Sandtroopers will ride on. It’s the same mold as we’ve previously seen for Tatooine-centered sets, but has some new painted details. I’m a big fan of its inclusion, with the creature really adding just a little bit extra to the theming here.

Highlights from the cantina

While the exterior build is quite impressive in size and has some neat little details, you’ll have to dive into the cantina to check out everything this hive of scum and villainy has to offer. Serving as the center point of the cantina, the bar has a distinct look that nails the design, thanks to the intricate brickwork on the overhead structure. 

Around the outside, many of the seating nooks share a similar design, but one stands out with some added features that help you re-create a scene from the first film. Most Star Wars fans are aware of the highly contentious “Han shot first” versus Greedo debate, and LEGO has included the ability for you to decide which of the smugglers has the faster trigger finger for yourself. There’s a pair of mechanisms built into the chair that let you flick up either seated figure. It’s a neat little play feature that doesn’t subtract from the overall display-worthiness, so a superb inclusion in my book.

Moving to the exterior, the doors are another spot that shows just how detailed of a set we’re talking about. The design is really novel and pulls off the look of the on-screen inspiration perfectly. The only real downside to the kit is that the roof isn’t fully enclosed. This was likely done so you could still see into the cantina, but it’s something that does add a demerit to the overall build.

A closer look at all 21 included minifigures

Along with the decked-out cantina comes 21 minifigures to give patronage to the Mos Eisley watering hole. There’s everything included here from all of the classic characters that have been making appearances in LEGO form for years, as well as some first-time additions. As for the most recognizable, there’s Luke, Ben Kenobi, Han, Chewy, and then R2-D2, and C-3PO. There’s nothing too noteworthy about this particular assortment, as these figures have been included in previous sets. But don’t get me wrong, they’re still great additions to the build, and quite necessary inclusions.

Where things get more interesting is the inclusion of the other 15 characters. There are some other essential characters here like three of the cantina band members, as well as a pair of Sandtroopers. Even though there’s nothing exclusive with those, they’re still pretty uncommon, and wonderful additions to the LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina. 

The final 10 figures take it up another notch, delivering a series of exclusive minifigures and new appearances in the LEGO world. Printing is about as exceptional as it gets on the assortment here, and the new molds are greatly appreciated for expanding the cast of aliens represented in the Star Wars universe. 

Here’s everyone else you’re getting with the set:

  • Wuher
  • Greedo
  • Doctor Cornelius Evazan
  • Ponda Bab
  • Momaw Nadon 
  • Kabe 
  • Labria
  • Hrchek Kal Fas
  • Garindan

A personal favorite would have to be the spy Garindan or Momaw Nadon. Both of the designs for the new head pieces are among the best in the set, not to mention all of the molded minifigure heads out there. Both feel like a long time coming from the LEGO Star Wars theme, so it’s great to see the Mos Eisley Cantina deliver on them.

Price breakdown on the LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina

Entering in at $349.99, the LEGO Mos Eisley Cantina is one of the most expensive Star Wars sets to date and certainly of the year. But despite being on the pricier side, the build is a decent value considering what’s included and how well everything is executed. You’re getting quite a lot here in terms of builds, and the entire set feels like it stacks up to a complete package. I’m sure you could nitpick and find some side character who was omitted or some other aspect that’s missing, but LEGO really nailed it this time around.

As for price per dollar, it’s about as good as you can expect to see from a Star Wars set these days. Clocking in at 3,178 pieces, that breaks down to $0.11 per brick and is right above the gold standard we’d ideally like to see. But considering the overall size here and the sheer amount of included minifigures, it’s as solid of a value as we’ve seen from LEGO Star Wars. 

How does it compare to other Star Wars sets?

While the value on its own is one thing, how it compares to other LEGO sets on the market is an entirely different thing to consider. So the real question is, if you’re going to shell out $350 on a build, is the Mos Eisley Cantina the best bang for your buck?

It all depends on what you’re looking for out of set. If having a display-worthy creation to put up on a shelf is all you’re after, the Mos Eisley Cantina most likely won’t fit the bill. Most of the UCS models in the Star Wars theme enter at a comparatively more affordable $200, so there’s a lot of value to be had going with one of the more collectible builds. 

But if you have a soft spot for the Original Trilogy and A New Hope in particular, there’s nothing quite like the Mos Eisley Cantina out there from LEGO. It’s a highly detailed play set that also happens to look great on display. And fans of Star Wars are absolutely sure to enjoy all of the interior details and movie-accurate inclusions.

9to5Toys’ Take

As the largest LEGO Star Wars set of the year, the Mos Eisley Cantina has a lot to live up to. Even though it’s not quite the most display-worthy set in the theme, the build excels as the most accurate version of the cantina to date. It’s something you can certainly see in the details, part count, and included figures.

The price is what you’d expect for the definitive version of such an iconic location from the Star Wars universe. But despite its wallet-hurting $350 price tag, it still ends up being a solid value. LEGO is really leaning into the collectible aspect here, and all of that shows in the final build. 

Just about everything here is executed flawlessly and doesn’t sacrifice much. LEGO managed to include all of the details and characters you’d expect from a set like this, and then some to really make this stand out among all of the other builds in its Star Wars theme. It’s easily one of the best creations of the year, and even if it’s a bit more niche than some of the other kits, the Mos Eisley Cantina is a must-have in its own right. 

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