Emerging from the endless sands is Canto Bight, a city of excess and indulgence. In this luxurious escape for the wealthy and unscrupulous, dreams are made reality and the prospect of war brings only the opportunity for profit.
Even as the darkness grows, visitors chase their fortunes enthralled by the glamour and thrill of the casino city. The fate of the galaxy matters little amid the glittering brilliance of Canto Bight. For whatever happens, Canto Bight prospers....
Canto Bight is a Star Wars Expanded Universe anthology of four novellas that focuses on different inhabitants of the casino city Canto Bight. It was released on December 5, 2017, as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Each story features a small measure of crossover or references to the events of another tale in the anthology.
"Rules of the Game" by Saladin Ahmed follows vaporator salesman Kedpin Shoklop's first night in Canto Bight after he wins a trip there for being salesperson of the year. The naïve Shoklop quickly finds himself at the mercy of Canto Bight's callous and duplicitous culture, but the interest of Syndicate member Anglang Lehet may prove to be his salvation or death.
"The Wine in Dreams" by Seanan McGuire sees the arrival of renowned wine trader Derla Pidys to Canto Bight as she seeks to acquire a legendary wine from the equally legendary Grammus sisters in the nightclub of Ubialla Gheal, who has her own plans for the wine.
"Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing" by Rae Carson focuses on masseuse Lexo Sooger as he races against the clock to rescue his adopted daughter from the clutches of gangster Big Sturg Ganna.
"The Ride" by John Jackson Miller sees card player Kaljach Sonmi encounter the Lucky Three, whose strange relationship with probability sends Kaljach's life into a spiral and towards certain doom unless he can find a way to harness their winning and losing ways to his advantage.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Anglang was all set to use Kedpin as an unwitting Action Bomb to kill Brawg....but then he heard Kedpin stand up for him, and rethought his actions.
- Dirty Cop: Brawg, an officer with CBPD, who extracts "tribute" from newcomers and tortures citizens for his own amusement.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: Near the end of the events, Anglang decides to treat Kedpin to Ubialla's club. The next story, "The Wine In Dreams", features Ubialla.
- Friendship Moment: Before they part ways, Anglang and Kedpin develop a friendship despite the day's events. This is solidified when Anglang calls Kedpin "Ked", something Kedpin said all of his friends called him. He doesn't actually have any friends.
- Even Evil Has Standards: From the beginning, Anglang didn't feel good about using Kedpin as a bomb. Later when Kedpin refuses to name drop Anglang to Brawg, Anglang decides to use his connections to rescue him from jail.
- Hidden Depths: Kedpin spends most of the story being easily conned, obsequious, and oblivious to those around him with a truly naive view of the world, but proves to have backbone when the chips are down, and actually conned his way into the trip in the first place after realizing the company lottery was rigged.
- The Mafia: At least two are shown, the newer Syndicate, of which Anglang is part of, and the older Old Town Boys, who the Syndicate pays tribute to.
- "Not So Different" Remark: One thing that Anglang realizes over the course of the story is that he and Kedpin are both just workers following the rules of their games for an uncaring industry.
- Naïve Newcomer: Kedpin falls for every scam that comes his way.
- One Last Job: Killing Brawg was meant to be Anglang's. He winds up not going through with it, as it would have killed Kedpin, and knows this'll mean he can't retire for some time.....but considers the experience Worth It for the chance to change the rules of the game.
- Really 700 Years Old: Both Anglang and Kedpin are about a century old. Despite coming from extremely different backgrounds, this was Anglang's first clue he and Kedpin were similar.
- Simultaneous Arcs: When Anglang and Kedpin arrive at Ubbialla's Club, the lights are all off. The next story, "The Wine In Dream", takes place when the lights go out.
- Took a Level in Badass: Kedpin, overlapping with Grew a Spine. He helped defuse the situation between Anglang the and Old Town Boys and, despite not being able to actually fight, was enough of a distraction to allow Anglang to kill the rival gang.
- All Beer Is Ale: Denied, as a liquor trader Derla deals with all kind of alcoholic beverage from the wines of Naboo to the ones created on Endor.
- Batman Gambit: Set up by the Grammus Twins. Their species operates in pairs and to enact their wine deal with Derla, had planned to bring in Calla to complete the set. They also planned on Ubialla intervening and trying to take the wine for herself, which is what she attempts. The pair is now Derla and Ubialla. After playing some mind games with them, they give one bottle each to Ubialla and Derla. Derla gets the real wine and unknown to her Ubialla gets a fake wine, made from swill. They set Ubialla up, knowing one day she will serve the fake wine which will spiral out for her with accusations of scamming her customers.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The Grammus twins come across this way, talking in riddles and acting like they are in a "dreamlike" state.
- Crapsaccharine World: Everything and everyone in the story is lies, deceit, and cons dressed up pretty and accompanied by a story. Ubialla's attempt to kill all three for a bottle might be the only time anyone is completely honest. Calla also lampshades how the majority of Canto Bight's patrons will end up as menial servants when their luck runs out and any wealth or status is ultimately temporary.
- Dimensional Traveler: The Grammus sisters say they are from a different dimension. Derla believes they just come from a planet no one has discovered yet.
- Expensive Glass of Crap: Discussed. While Derla is far too professional to ever sell something that isn't what she says it is, she believes it's the story around the wine she sells, not the wine itself.
- Humanoid Aliens: Mentioned by Derla who notes that aside from her head, Derla Pidys has a human like body (and finds the humanoid alien thing to be kinda funny).
- Identical Twins: The Grammus sisters, Parallela and Rhomby, not only look exactly alike but act exactly alike. Calla, the clerk the twins take with them as a "guide", learns how to distinguish between the two.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Grammus Twins obtain a clerk from a resort and refer to her as Souvenir. In a brief act of defiance, she tells them her name: Calla. They make a distinction that she is not a slave and will be let go after their business is done.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Again, the Grammus Twins. They profess they come from another dimension. Derla simply thinks they come from a planet know one has explored yet. No proof is shown either way. Interestingly, if they do come from another dimension, they would become Expies of Waru, of all beings.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Defied. Derla always insists on having every one of her bottles tested and catalogued to the molecule so she know which will cause on allergic or poisonous reaction in which species, and lampshades that the difference between a renowned sommelier and a wanted poisoner is doing your research. She even had to refuse to sell a certain vintage to a man who would have been killed by it. The Grammus Twins are frustrated by her insistence on doing this with their wine before selling it.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The Grammus Twins acknowledge themselves as playing fools, if only to confuse other beings
- Theme Twin Naming: Parallela and Rhomby Grammus. Parallela as in "parallel" or "parallelogram". Rhomby as in "rhombus". Both are named after quadrilateral shapes.
- Wine Is Classy: The entire story is about wine, specifically a very rare wine.
- Ascended Extra: Lexo and Sturg Ganna would be this, but their scene was cut from The Last Jedi.
- Big Bad: Big Sturg Ganna kidnaps Lexo's adopted daughter Lula to force him to become an informant, leaving Lexo scrambling to rescue her and find a way to keep Sturg Ganna from killing them.
- Blackmail: How Lexo eventually gets Ganna off his back, by threatening to release damaging information on his plans unless he leaves them alone, never makes Lexo work on him again, and pays for Lula's fathier races.
- Dark and Troubled Past: During his time as a slave, Lexo used to kill and heal gladiators to fix the matches. He wanted to live the rest of his life as a humble masseuse, but Ganna threatened his daughter.
- Evil vs. Evil: Per Canto Bight custom, Big Sturg Ganna versus the Countess. While the Countess might not "evil" exactly, she potentially is just as bad as Ganna.
- Fingore: Lexo's hands have been deteriorating over the years and it's difficult to keep them up. As of the climax one of the tendons is ruined, and he acknowledges that his hands will never be painless again.
- I Have Your Wife: Big Sturg Ganna kidnaps Lexo's daughter, Lula, to force Lexo to give him information.
- Mythology Gag: Lexo is a Dor Namethian, a tall humanoid alien and Lula is his adopted human daughter. Early in the story Lexo tells her "Lula. I am ''not'' your father." It is Played for Laughs and is a Running Gag between the two.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Averted. Lexo's pheromone abilities waver in between species, and in the case of Ganna do not work at all.
- Papa Wolf: Lexo might not be inclined to action, but he will get his daughter back, one way or another.
- Pheromones: The key to Lexo's skill as a masseuse and why everyone wants him is his ability to secrete pheromones to soothe patients. Or poison them.
- Private Detective: Neepers Panick, a private investigator, who Lexo goes to for a lead on finding Ganna and Lula.
- A Spy at the Spa: Ganna wants to use Lexo this way, since many of Lexo's clients unintentionally gossip and reveal important information to him. Lexo refuses to be one.
- Trapped in Villainy: Lexo somewhat in the end. Despite rescuing his daughter from Ganna, the Countess now knows of his abilities and usefulness. Lexo figures she will use him again but is alright with that.
- The Ace: Orisha Okum, an ace card player. Kal is very good himself just not as good as Orisha. That is because she cheats.
- Big Bad: Big Sturg Ganna, again, though he isn’t actually seen in this story. Instead the main threat’s face is…
- The Heavy: Orisha Okum, an ace gambler in Ganna's employ.
- Beyond the Impossible: In the game pazaak (which has rules similar to blackjack/21), players are allowed to use a side deck to change their numbers for their benefit. It is revealed Orisha has a trick card that can change its number as needed. After the Suerton's Disaster Dominoes, the trick card is stuck at "+333". Since Kal already agreed to let Orisha use the trick card, Orisha played it not knowing it malfunctioned. Meaning the play was legal but the number for this particular game impossible. She busts with a score of 350.
- Book Ends: Kedpin Shoklop from the first story shows up near the end, where Kal gives him some advice on gambling.
- Contrived Coincidence: The coincidences surrounding the brothers when they're all three together are frankly miraculous. They bet on a half-blind, deaf, aging fathier who's never placed to win? A fire breaks out and startles every animal but the deaf winning one, the person who would oversee the validity of the race was hospitalized for the moment, and the conductor just happened to step up, making the race valid.
- Defeating the Cheating Opponent: During the climactic card game of pazaak (basically the Star Wars version of blackjack), rival player Orisha is caught using a trick card that can change to any number she wants. Because she threatens to pull all her money from the game if penalized, money which the protagonist Kaljach desperately needs, he allows her to play her illegal card. Fortunately for Kal, Orisha's card malfunctions due to a prior accident, which sends her score over the limit and gives him the win.
- Disaster Dominoes: When all 3 Suerton brothers are together, this seems to happen. A prime example is during the fathier race, when one brother trips and ultimately causes a small fire to break out, with their blind and deaf fathier winning because the others were too scared by the fire and alarms.
- Like You Were Dying: With his coin out and no way to earn it back, Kal realizes that Ganna will kill him regardless, so he decides to have one last night of gambling just for fun. This makes him realize the truth about the brothers' luck, and he's able to win big anyway.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is it just incredible luck, or do the Suerton brothers really have some sort of supernatural talent?
- Meaningful Name: The brothers are from a species called Suerton. Suerte is Spanish for luck.
- Race Against the Clock: Kal has until the next morning to produce 800,000 Cantocoin for Ganna, or he's dead, and he just lost his last coin. Luckily, one of the Suerton brothers shows up to place a bet, and things spiral from there.
- Recurring Character: Big Sturg Ganna appears again, spurring Kaljach's Race Against the Clock.
- Rhyme Theme Naming: The Lucky Three are a group of gambling brothers made up of Dodibin, Thodibin and Wodibin, usually shortened to just Dodi, Thodi and Wodi.
- Rule of Three: Kaljach notes that when one of the Suerton around, they get lucky. when it's two it's bad luck, but when all three brothers are there, that's when a winning streak is sure to happen!
- Skepticism Failure: Kaljach got as far as he did by never relying on luck. Then the Lucky Three turn it all upside down.