‘Zip – Boop, Boom – Blam’

At last – we’re in the Cantina, complete with the retrospectively named Figrin D’An and his band the Modal Nodes – playing their swingin’ brand ofJizz. I talk abot Dr.Evazan (snort!), how the crew nearly smothered themselves, and mis-remembered bis of Star Wars.

blue milk special's cantina bandBlue Milk Special’s Take

Er, Yes. That’s right. Your eyes do not deceive you. It’s not a typo. Check out BMS if you don’t believe me.

We get some nice helpful little labels too! There are theCUSTOMERS – and there’s theBAND.


Art Notes

Doctor Evazan bullies Luke in the Cantina.

Please don’t hurt me, Mr. Bar-room brawler, sir?

What do you think of that opening panel? Was the composition intentional – or accidental? – the way the top ofBen‘s head is cut-off like that. Almost emerging from shadow – like a Sergio Leone character!

Weird looking customers! I don’t think there was even a comic to refer to when this was done. I’m surprised at how convincingly pig-face, or Dr.Evazan yanks Luke‘s arm. Yes, a doctor. The Expanded Universe has since elevated him from a bar-room thug, who could for all the world be a scrap yard owner – to the lofty career-heights of surgeon.

Which is absolutely ridiculous. Let’s face it.


– Star Wars age 9 dialogue, by Master John White, Jr.


Film Notes

Young George showed excellent judgment once again in his musical choice for this scene. He could have used cheesy futuristic music created on electronic gizmos – which was proposed to him – but after much delay, he had one of his epiphanies: “I’m gonna use Benny Goodman. They’re gonna play swing man!” (Making of Star Wars – Rinzler) So: substitute a Jamaican Steel Drum for one of the traditional Big-Band instruments and you’ve got something just slightly odd enough to fit perfectly into a space movie. But George always reminded his creatives “It has to feel familiar.”

In the same book, Jon Berg and Phil Tippett described how “we were nearly killed by our own creations” when recalling the band’s costumes. “There was one tiny hole (…) and that was not enough (…) to get air through! Particularly when it’s plugged by the mouthpiece of the instrument! We had to dance to the beat of an old Benny Goodman tape that George had brought in.” Some nicely made up ILM girls also wore the costumes but “By the end of the day we all looked like drowned rats.”


Bullshitting your best friends?

soundtrack album gatefold sleeve

Above: Star Wars LP gatefold over: there were so many happy hours of listening – and copying the photos!

I clearly recall sitting on the bedroom floor – circa 1978 – listening to the soundtrack album with John S. as we so often did while playing with our Star Wars figures. The weirdly incongruous Cantina Band tune came on at the end of side 2 of the very scratched LP with a jolt. I wonder now if perhaps he hadn’t been fortunate enough to see the film at that stage, and I explained:

“This was brill John. It’s the bit when Han chases the stormtroopers down the corridor – and he runs into loads of them. Next thing, they chase him and Chewie and this funny music plays!”

Imagine that? A Keystone Cops style caper in the middle of the film! You know, I mightn’t have been spoofing him at all. I might have actually believed it myself. You know what? I probaby really wanted that to be what happened. But if I saw it now, I’d take it to be a incredibly bad decision on the part of the director. Interesting that isn’t it? Especially when you consider that kids loved Jar-Jar and his slapstick antics.

Above: A drawing I once did, relating to my Between * Wars comic.