Docking Bay 94, a "bay of riddles"!

Goncalo Mendes

New Member
Hello to all,
After seeing some great docking bay dioramas, and 3d images, it give me the will to try to make one too.
So, I went to review the diorama images that I had saved trought time, image stills, screen grabs, etc.
While doing it, something didn't feel right on the dioramas, photos and plans. So I went and try to make sense of what could have been the "real" idea on it...

In all the dioramas that I have seen, the entrance to "Docking Bay 94" is located in ground levell. However it is my feeling that in the movie this entrance is in a inferior level, much as the Lars home open to the sunken courtyard. That makes all logic, taking advantage of a lower underground temperature, with narrow streets to maximaze shadowing (more real than a village with large open streets, with spaced low buildings...).

In the movie we can see a set of stairs, right before Luke, Kenobi and the droids turn left to the street leading to the docking way doorway. The top of the stairs isn't visible, but it appears on several photos where we can see that a vaporator appears on the top stairs left. As Mos Eisley is flat and as the vaporators work using the underground temperature to condense the moisture in the air, I think that this sunken location is a fair assumption.

I show the two best photos that I find on this, we can clearly see the vaporator and the stairs (red arrows), plus the docking bay entrance. They are in low resolution, if anyone has better ones in higher resolution that could be shared, it would help.

Also the Rinzler blueprints book show the Mos Eisley set drawings but I couldn't find a quality image of it. Can anyone with the book could take some frontal photos and share them, please? Thanks!




Sr Member
Hm. Okay - so your contention is that the pedestrian street that our heroes and the stormtroopers are shown marching down was supposed to be below ground level?

Well. The original sets were designed more with a feeling and a vibe in mind than actual geography sometimes. And I think this is one of those cases. Sadly John Barry died in 1979 so we can't ask him what his idea was here.

What we do know is that the docking bay is a tall cylinder set into the ground, with high walls. Our heroes are seen entering a door and then subsequently descending a staircase to access the bottom of this cylinder. Since we aren't shown which way the corridor turns, if there is more than one flight of stairs, etc, we don't have enough information to know how much below the entrance door the cylinder floor is located. The set blueprints show that the corridor at the top of the stairs in the Docking Bay 94 set angles off to the right, but that doesn't tell us that much. We're shown a street scene with troopers turning to watch the Falcon blast off, but we don't see a circular wall on the right so we don't know how far back this street is from the docking bay.

Since we don't know how the vaporators work other than Star Wars magic, we don't know if they can work above ground level. Or even if that vaporator-looking thing on the stairwell backdrop painting (it wasn't a climbable staircase but a forced perspective partial staircase with a trompe d'oeil painting) is a vaporator.

The Special Edition shows the rim of the cylinder during the takeoff and also shows other docking bays, all suggesting that their entrances would be at street level. Likewise the prequel Mos Espa docking bay.

So in short I don't think there's any real evidence either way - in the 1977 film, at least. Most people seem to make their dioramas with the "94" entrance door at ground level. Your subterranean walkway is an interesting theory, and could look pretty cool as a model. So if you want to do it that way, why not? :) It's your model!

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
As Mos Eisley is flat and as the vaporators work using the underground temperature to condense the moisture in the air, I think that this sunken location is a fair assumption.

"Flat" is not always flat. My city is the Midwest U.S. There are no mountains or even big hills. But that doesn't mean elevations don't change from block to block or even from one property to another. Just on my block, the difference in elevation from my end of the block to my neighbor five houses away is an entire floor and a half. If our houses were right next to each other, his second floor windows would be at my ground level. That's why people build retaining walls and why some house's have drainage problems. So when I look at the picture of Mos Eisley, I don't think the street is sunken, it's just a section of the block that is slightly higher and they put in some steps.
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