First You May Have Missed: Dash Rendar
This article is one I have been trying to write for months now. Being a huge Star Wars fan it is easy to go down a rabbit hole and what you thought was going to be a focused informative article turns into a fan boy fueled nostalgic list of all the things you love about Star Wars. So I will try to find a happy medium as I bring to you a Star Wars First You May Have Missed featuring none other than Dash Rendar.
SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE
In order to fully understand who Dash Rendar is and his overall importance to Star Wars lore we must first understand Shadows Of The Empire.
Back in 1996, 13 years after the last new Star Wars film release and 3 years before we got The Phantom Menace, it was safe to say that Star Wars was in a bit of a lull period with a lot of the movie going Rotj audience already spawning a new generation who has no fresh introduction into the star wars universe.
Now there was a slew of books and comics to choose from which a lot of Star Wars fans did enjoy but it was not in my opinion any line as important or dominant as Shadows of the Empire. What set SotE apart was the fact that it was not just another novel set in some far off corner of the Star Wars universe and it was not just 1 one-off book.
The SotE campaign was a full theatrical release style campaign just without an actual movie. Along with the book (still have my original copy) we got comics, a soundtrack,an at the time revolutionary and well done video game on the N64, trading cards, and also a full branded action figure line.
The marking and merchandising for SotE rivaled and even surpassed many actual movie releases and it was beloved and accepted by many Star Wars fans who's well had begun to run dry.
To make matters even better unlike some novels SotE was set snug in between The Empire Strikes Back And Return Of the Jedi giving the story access to many well-known character's and it did not disappoint giving us more info and depth to Darth Vader as well as our favorite bounty hunters and even involving Luke himself to some degree.
Taking place in that period of time where Han Solo was being held captive by Jabba it was time for another slick handed corellian to take the light and this is where we get Dash Rendar.
Who is Dash Rendar
Dash Rendar like Han Solo was born on the planet Corellia. Also like Han Solo he joined the imperial military. Also like Han he became a smuggler….ok so yes he is a lot like Han but with enough shoulder pads, pockets and guns to make Rob Leifeld proud, hey it was the 90's. Lets not let this take away from the greatness of Dash.
While in the navy his family was pressured to sell their shipping company to the antagonists of this story Prince Xizor who was the leader or the Black Sun crime syndicate(remember this for deep rabbit hole hail mary theories later in this article).
When they refused Xizor sabotaged their ship and caused it to crash into an imperial museum killing Dash's older brother as well as destroying man jedi and sith artifacts. This caused Palpatine to exile the Rendar family and discharge Dash from the navy(Palpatine must have been having a good week as death was apparently not on the table).
Dash later becomes a smuggler and mercenary to make ends meet and manages to get his own ship The Outrider and make friends with a driod named LE-BO29D. Now there is so much to go into with the history and exploits of Rendar but i will try to keep it short and bring it back to comics.
Some Rendar Amazing Feats and facts
During his time in the Imperial Academy he showcased amazing piloting skills which he managed to impress everyone including a fellow cadet by the name of….you guessed it Han Solo. Dash also had a relationship with Lando Calrissian as the two met just like Han over a game of sabacc and joined forces on many smuggling runs. His ship The Outrider is 2nd only to The Millenium Falcon which was proven is a race where Solo barley beats Dash.
Prince Xizor is the big bad in SotE and Dash's main antagonists. Aside from causing the death and exile of Dash's family members Xizor and his Black Sun gang have their eyes set on a bigger prize. Xizor wants to become the right hand man to Emperor Palpatine but as we know at this time Darth Vader holds that spot. Not one to give up Xizor develops a plan to knock Vader out-of-the-way which starts by him teaming up with the Sith lord to help him find Luke Skywalker.
More Rendar Amazing Feats and Facts
Although we eventually see how Han was rescued in RotJ this was not the first and only attempt to save him. Luke Leia and Lando gathered a team of Dash, wedge and other members of the X-wing squadron to save Han which doesn't go quite as well. Dash was hired by the rebellion to protect Luke and once saved him from a hit put out on him on Tatooine. Dash participated in the infamous battle of Hoth as a Landspeeder Pilot and took down an At-At. Render also defeated bounty hunter droid IG-88 in an effort to get information on Hans and Boba Fett's location. Which he later used to find, battle and get the best of our favorite bounty hunter.
Ok comic book stuff
While i can go on for days about how interwoven Dash is with Star Wars lore this is a comic site so let's get into some comics. While some die-hard fans (like me) will argue his first appearance is in Nintendo Powers preview or Star Wars insider #29, these are technically magazines so as far as comics go we have Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire #2. While number one does give us a look at Dash on the cover he does not actually appear in the book. We do however get a full introduction to Prince Xizor in #1.
Canon debate and Rabbit Holes
Ok so this section is not for the logical readers. This is for those who like loose connections assumptions and possible maybe's. The first thing is, does Dash Rendar actually exist in current Star Wars canon. So originally when the mouse house acquired Star Wars they said everything in the movies still counts as well as the rebels shows.
All the games, novels, comics etc up until that point is all considered star wars legends and may or may not be true which lead to many of us Star Wars fans disappointment thinking they will never see their favorite non movie character developed.
Well with many recent events we have seen that Disney does not intend to completely disregard all this ripe material. As with Admiral Thrawn and soon Tag and Bink Disney is tapping into some fan favorite Star Wars characters and who else would be a perfect fit besides the lead of the star wars movie that never was? While many people argue if Han exist then why do we need Dash?
Well lets rabbit hole here.
With the semi success of Solo what could Disney do to keep the pacing and charm of Solo without tampering too much with the main story? Well Dash Rendar. As a tv show, one-off film or even added to another solo movie to make it a 3 man Solo, Lando,Rendar, heist film on the levels of Oceans 11 they can find a nice fit for Dash.
Or being how *spoiler not spoiler* old man Han is now dead, with lando set to return to the franchise wouldn't an old smuggler friend be an easy fit. Is that not rabbit hole enough for you? Ok grab your shovels guys. In the canon book released along with the Solo film titled Solo: Tales from Vandar we get a quote from someone who signs his name only as DASH
Given the love hate comment that is known to be shared between the two and the line “if I'm around you don't need that guy” which is surely a joke playing off the fact that Dash's rise to fame came at a time when Solo was out of commission we can assume that someone over at Disney has their eyes on Dash and while it is possible it can just be an easter egg to fans here in the rabbit hole we take this as confirmation of Dash Rendar in Disney Star Wars canon. Ok let's keep digging.
In Solo the movie *spoilers if you have yet to watch it and care* there was a major crime syndicate operating behind the scenes led by non other than Darth Maul. How does this connect? [Takes deep breath] in the film Crimson Dawn was being operated by Maul.
Crimson Dawn was an organization born from the ashes of the fallen Shadow Collective crime origination which consisted of many smaller criminal origination two of which are the Hutt clan (of Jabba fame) and The Black Sun (I told you to remember this name) who in current canon from star wars clone wars is run by Falleen which is the same race that Prince Xizor who leads Black son in SotE happens to be.
This making a clear and direct connection to Crimson Dawn, Solo, and Black Sun which is at some point ran by Xizor. With maul now against the Emperor and a once ally of the Black Sun, this easily sets him up to work with Xizor who is trying to take down Vader. While this is all very speculative and border line fan fiction i do believe a place is being carved out for Dash in the current Star Wars canon and being the Han Solo of a generation i can see him gaining popularity once again. Hey if we can have Wally and Barry why not?.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire #1: 1st comic book appearance of Prince Xizor(dash on cover). This is a definite pick up for me not just as a star wars fan but it has a lot of potential if Xizor ever hits he will be big in my opinion. These can be found and wont break the bank.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire #2: 1st comic appearance of Dash Rendar. Pick it up hold it and travel down the rabbit hole. These can be had for near cover mostly and have great potential i grab them whenever I can.
Thank you for reading guys. I know it's a mess of thoughts i tried to keep it as readable as possible but Star Wars is so much to cover. There is so much more to cover on Shadows of the Empire and the ever evolving world of Star Wars so feel free to drop bits of info, praises and disagreements down in the comments. As always “it is better to have first and flipped, then to never have first at all” –Valiant Horton