"Only watch your step. This place can be a little rough."Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina is an anthology of Star Wars short stories by various science fiction writers (and edited by Kevin J. Anderson) about everyone in Chalmun's Cantina when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker were there. Practically every member of the crowd who appeared in the cantina scene is either the focus of a story or featured prominently in one of them, and to a certain extent most of the stories connect together to create a larger narrative. If you want to know why the band was in the cantina, this book will tell you. If you're curious about who that demonic-looking guy or the wolfman who appeared for about ten seconds in A New Hope were, this is the book for you. If you want to know why they don't serve your kind in here... Well, you get the idea. Literally everybody has a story behind them, and this book aims to tell them all.In this respect, the book is similar to Tales of the Bounty Hunters and Tales from Jabba's Palace, which do the same for the line-up of bounty hunters in The Empire Strikes Back and the Hutt's court in Return of the Jedi.
- Actual Pacifist: The Ithorians (hammer-headed guys) turn out to be this, holding to a Rule of Life that even applies to plants - if a plant is killed for food, two seeds of its species must be planted. Momaw Nadon, when he accidentally gets an evil Imperial officer killed, creates two clones of him and raises them as his sons.
- All Take and No Give: H'nemthe sex traditionally takes this to a ghastly extreme.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Anky Fremp, one of Greedo's childhood friends, is a near-human alien with skin as yellow as cheese.
- Ascended Extra: The entire cast, with Han, Luke, and Obi-wan getting Demoted to Extra.
- Brainless Beauty: M'iiyoom Onith (beautiful by her own species standards that is, and Feltipern Trevagg's; by human standards she's hideous). Trevagg even calls her a "bimbo" at one point.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Labria is the worst spy in Mos Eisley, but when he learns that his favorite band is in town, he pulls off an epic Batman Gambit to arrange for them to play at the cantina. As Wuher says, if Labria put this sort of thinking at anything else, he'd be a very wealthy being.
- The Butcher: Labria (real name Kardue Sai'Malloc) is a war criminal (and music enthusiast) known as "the Butcher of Montellian Serat" hiding out on Tatooine from bounty hunters. He reappears in the final Tales of the Bounty Hunters story getting captured by Boba Fett, and is delivered to his people, who feed him to their hunting beasts alive as punishment.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The music of the Modal Nodes (the Cantina band) was conceived as an alien interpretation of the music of Benny Goodman. Unfortunately, it gets the in-universe name "jizz".
- Corrupt Bureaucrat: Feltipern Trevagg.
- Defector from Decadence: Imperial Stormtrooper Davin Felth sees what The Empire is really like and vows to become the Reverse Mole.
- Embarrassing First Name: Spurch Warhog Goa's first name means "brave bug-catcher."
- Et Tu, Goa: Goa was hired to get rid of Greedo (whose entire clan was sentenced to genocide). These must have been Greedo's first words in the hereafter.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Lady Valarian's wedding, due to half the (uninvited) guests being Jabba the Hutt's henchmen and the casino where it was being held being raided by the Imperials for illegal gambling. All of the major characters except for Valarian's fiancé get away pretty much unscathed, although Wuher does get shot in the nose.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Owen Lars' last words.
- Fantastic Racism: Wuher despises droids at the start of his story because in his mind they're the only lower thing than he is and thus the only thing he can legitimately hate. He has a change of heart when he realizes droids can be useful. Chalmun the Wookie, who owns the cantina, doesn't much like them either, but only because they take up space which could go to paying customers.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Nightlily was selected by her people to travel the galaxy and find a mate outside her culture. There are a couple twists, though: one, based on her picture, she's only really a "babe" by the standards of the other bizarre aliens at the cantina, and two like a praying mantis she eats her partner after mating.
- Heel–Face Turn: Davin Felth.
- The Heist: In their story, Muftak and Kabe decide to burglarize Jabba's town house (His headquarters whenever he has to do business in Mrs Eisley, as opposed to the palace he has in the desert) in order to raise the cash needed to get off Tattooine.
- Humans Are Morons: A definite theme in "The Devaronian's Tale."Labria: What do you call someone who speaks three languages?
Labria: Someone who speaks two languages?
Labria: Someone who speaks one language?
- Interspecies Romance: A fatal version between M'iiyoom Onith and Feltipern Trevagg, and a bittersweet one between Dice Ibegon and Lak Sivrak.
- I'm a Humanitarian:
- Wuher brews the remains of Greedo into an especially strong drink which he hopes will gain him the favor of Jabba the Hutt.
- The only meat that H'nemthe females eat is the flesh of their sexual partners.
- A human thief once broke into Labria's apartment. "Turns out humans don't taste very good."
- Informed Obscenity: Kardue'sai'Malloc takes the pseudonym Labria, which translates roughly to "cold food". It's actually a strong obscenity in his language.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Han Solo, Wuher.
- Karma Houdini: Navik the Red.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Think back to the cantina scene in A New Hope. They all have a story here.
- Mad Scientist/Deadly Doctor: Evazan (the "he doesn't like you" guy at the bar) turns out to be a cross between Dr. Frankenstein and Josef Mengele. Luke's lucky Obi-Wan was there.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Davin Felth was a loyal Imperial pilot until he was in training for the new AT-AT walkers. During one of his first training simulations he realized how easily enemy fighters could disable the machine with tow cables, and devised a tactical counter. The officer corp tried to cover up the weakness by transferring him to the Stormtroopers and reassigning him to the ass end of nowhere, where he defected. The result was that at Hoth the Rebels knew about the weakness and exploited it, while the Imperials were caught completely off guard.
- Felth's first act of defection was to shoot his superior officer in Unfriendly Fire - while said superior officer was lining up a careful shot at Han Solo during the hangar bay gunfight. Reassigning Felth to the Stormtroopers just may have saved Solo's life, which allowed him to save Luke's life and help win the Battle of Yavin for the Rebels.
- One-Letter Name: M'iiyoom Onith may be this or it may be coincidence.
- Out with a Bang: The H'nemthe. Apparently as a result of massive difference in gender ratio (20 males: 1 female), they have evolved the custom of females using their knife-sharp tongues to eviscerate their lovers after sex. The females are otherwise vegetarians and they sincerely believe this is actually the greatest expression of love between the sexes. Both their appearance and mating rituals bear some resemblance to the Real Life praying mantis.
- Actually, only female virgins of that species are forbidden from eating meat. It's implied that this is to ensure that the first flesh she tastes is that of her lover.
- Pardon My Klingon: Labria's pseudonym is actually a serious profanity in Devaronian. It literally means "cold food," though it apparently loses something in translation. Labria thinks humans are weird for using religion, sex, and excrement as swear words.
- Poor Communication Kills the Corrupt Bureaucrat, ironically thus saving the galaxy from Sidious, IG-88, and the Yuuzhan Vong (in that order).
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Het Nkik tried this. It... didn't come off.
- Too Dumb to Live: Greedo, for obvious reasons, Trevagg, for trying to court a H'nemthe female and being unaware of a rather vital aspect of their mating rituals.
- Training Accident: Part of Davin Felth's backstory. He succeeded, but in doing so pointed out a design flaw in the AT-AT walker, so the colonel shunted him into the stormtrooper corps. Also a Call-Forward to The Empire Strikes Back: the name of the colonel? Maximilian Veers.
- The Uriah Gambit: Greedo's death.
- Wedding Smashers: "We Don't Do Weddings".
- The Wretched Hive of scum and villainy.
- You Have Failed Me: From The Ithorian's Tale:"You know what Lord Vader would do if he were here."