Take A Tour of The Casinos In Star Wars

The logo of the latest Star Wars film
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to hit cinema screens across the world in December this year and director Rian Johnson has confirmed that the latest instalment of the iconic movie saga will include a new casino city called Canto Bight.

It is a continuation of the strong relationship the sci-fi franchise has with gambling.

A Long Time Ago, In a Casino Far, Far Away…

Back in 1977, George Lucas introduced Star Wars fans to the social side of his magical universe when Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi visited the notorious Mos Eisley Cantina. This is also where fans had their first encounter with Han Solo.

It gave the audience an insight into the sordid underworld of drinking and socializing across the Star Wars universe. Now, 40 years on, Johnson is set to bring fans a glimpse into the world of gambling that has long been a part of the Star Wars universe.

An image of Star Wars creations
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The new casino city will loosely resemble the setting of Monte Carlo. There will be a focus on wealth and privilege with a hint of influence from the James Bond franchise. Director Johnson stated a desire to create a luxurious part of the Star Wars universe that is so often limited to desolate and sandy environments.

Fans can expect to witness their fair share of random aliens and obscure-looking species that all descend upon this gambling haven too.

The appearance of Canto Bight adds fuel to the fan theory that the latest trilogy is echoing the arc of the original trilogy.

It is anticipated that just as The Force Awakens paid tribute to many aspects of the original Star Wars movie, this second instalment could will follow a similar path to that of The Empire Strikes Back.

An image of characters from the Star Wars universe
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Canto Bight is seen by many as the movie’s tribute to the Mos Eisley Cantina. Although, Maz Kanata’s Cantina in The Force Awakens did provide a nod to the Cantina culture, it is felt that the presence of so many unique aliens in the upcoming Canto Bight scene will give viewers that feeling of seeing something they have never seen before.

This was one of the main reasons the original Star Wars trilogy was so successful. It was all new.

Star Wars and Casinos

Due to the family-friendly theme of the Star Wars movies, casinos have never played a huge part in the movies but they have very much become an integral part of the canon associated with the franchise.

Casinos have popped up in a number of spin-off materials to show how gambling is a vital part of the Star Wars universe.

Casinos that appear throughout the Star Wars series include the Aerie Casino, Balance Casino, Casino Kuari, Coruscant Crown Casino, Daystar Casino, Iego Casino, and Star Cluster Casino as well as many more.

An animated image of Star Wars characters arriving at a casino
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These casinos offered gamblers the chance to play a number of games. During the Old Republic era, games such as Pazaak, Dejarik, Holochex, and Ratts Race were popular.

Throughout the Imperial era, games including Binspo, Compmatch, Sabacc, and Tregald were commonly played.

Other Gambling in Star Wars

Such is the importance of gambling at casinos within the Star Wars universe that the saga has developed its own history relating to the practice.

Fan sites elude to the fact that even though gambling was largely outlawed during the Old Republic era it was still allowed to operate in some areas of the galaxy. During the Clone Wars, Senator Simon Greyshade passed a law that allowed gambling to be widely legalized across the universe.

Gambling has been referenced a number of times during source material for the Star Wars franchise too.

It was a game of Sabacc that Han Solo won against Lando Calrissian to earn him ownership of the Millennium Falcon. This was revealed in The Empire Strikes Back when Han visits Lando in Cloud City.

It is also expected to be a scene covered in the upcoming Han Solo prequel spin-off movie scheduled for release in 2018 starring Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, and Woody Harrelson.

Han Solo and Lando in an intense scene
Image Credit: dvdactive.com

The prequel trilogy also featured high stakes gambling when Anakin Skywalker participated in pod race betting. His owner Watto would often bet against Anakin, appreciating his talents as a podracer but understanding he lacked the experience needed to win.

Don’t forget Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn also won Anakin’s freedom in the Boonta Eve podrace in The Phantom Menace.

An image of Anakin Skywalker's Podracer
Image Credit: starwars.wikia.com

A number of other source materials from the Star Wars saga have covered the topic of gambling. Rebel Rising, Star Wars Rebels, Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, and Aftermath have all referenced gambling within the Star Wars universe.

It is also a topic repeatedly brought to the attention of the characters by C3-PO who remarks on what the odds of success in a particular situation are. Han Solo then responds with his classic line of “Never tell me the odds!”.

No doubt fans of the franchise will be eagerly waiting to see how the new Canto Bight casino is interpreted in the upcoming release of The Last Jedi. The preview photos are encouraging and it is a great opportunity for the Star Wars universe to add some more depth to its existence.