"I would think that you might have a grudge against the Empire yourself, after what the Emperor did to you and your family."
e’s a Corellian who flies a fast freighter with an off-center cockpit who hangs out at the Mos Eisley Cantina looking for work, accompanied by his quirky co-pilot. . . no, we’re not Han Solo, but Dash Rendar, captain of The Outrider (a YT-2400, not to be confused with the YT-1200, also known as The Millenium Falcon)! Dash’s second-tier status in the Expanded Universe is part of his appeal; he’s in on the joke! Easily mistaken for Han Solo on the one hand and Dark Forces’ Kyle Katararn on the other, Dash epitomizes the ‘90s EU. Pitched as a “swaggery Top Gun-style fighter pilot” by Bantam editor Tom Dupree and as the character “most likely to have ‘Mom’ tattooed on his arm” by Dark Horse Comics artist Kilian Plunkett in the development for Shadows of the Empire, Dash forms a bromance love-triangle with both Han Solo and Luke Skwalker in a way that’ll have you craving a game of beach volleyball.
Dash’s mere existence originated out of story necessity. The massive multimedia story event of 1996, Shadows of the Empire, filled in the gaps between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Absent from this era was everyone’s favorite lovable rogue, Han Solo. There was an incident involving a dark lord, a bounty hunter, and a carbon freezing chamber. . . You probably remember. Dash is an ancillary character in the book and the comic, but the star of the video game originally released for the Nintendo 64. Dash is as awkward of a third wheel as the iconic third handle on the N64’s controller. Star Wars is nothing if not a collection of archetypes, therefore, a Correllian on a cool ship was needed! Enter the Outrider. Except this rogue wasn’t quite as lovable—at first, that is. Whereas Han returned to save the day after abandoning his friends in A New Hope, Dash doesn’t! At the Battle of Gall when Leia, Lando, and crew follow Dash on a secret route to Boba Fett in order to rescue Solo’s frozen slab, Dash splits upon sight of Slave I. Can you blame him?
His in-universe origin story involves an all-too-common story of the excesses and evil of the Empire: after Prince Xizor’s attempt to sabotage Dash’s family’s shipping business, causing his brother to crash into the Imperial Museum, the Empire banished the Rendar family from the Empire. All but Dash, that is. Dash took a different route than his brother; rather than joining the family business, he enlisted in the Imperial Academy. Only his service to the Empire prevented experiencing the same fallout as his family. Rather than joining the Alliance, Dash became a freelance bodyguard and pilot, only looking out for number one. Trust issues, or savvy career move?
Amazingly, not only is Mr. Shoulderpads Rendar celebrating the 25th anniversary of his creation in Shadows of the Empire, he just recently received stunning multiple full-page spreads of art by Greg and Tim Hildebrant in the all-new Star Wars Insider Fiction Collection (Volume 1), which republished “And Leebo Makes Three” by Reaves and Bonhoff, originally published in Star Wars Insider 128 in 2011. Technically, he is first mentioned in interviews and featuresttes leading up to the release of Shadows of the Empire in Star Wars Insider 28 and 29, but he finally appears in fiction alongside the Legends greats such as Darth Plagueis and Jains Solo with a dedicated short story in this unique collectible hardcover. A fine addition to Shadow Games, the short story comprises 8 pages, art and all, in fine print with multiple columns per page, which adds up to a substantial read for a short story. Plus, Dash uses the word, “Banthaflop” as a euphamism for Bantha poodoo!
In Canon, Dash got a passing reference in Solo: A Star Wars Story: Tales from Vandor by Jason Fry, mostly at his expense for being comically similar to Solo. Somewhere aboard The Outrider, which also received Canon Easter Eggs in the 1997 Special Edition of A New Hope and The Rise of Skywalker, is laughing along with the joke.
Beyond that, if you’re craving for more Rendar, he received his own leitmotif for the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, an action figure, and even a massive toy of The Outrider for him to ride in.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!
Books in this Collection
Javul Charn is the most famous pop star in the galaxy – and the runaway bride of a violent lieutenant in Black Sun, the crime syndicate commanded by Prince Xizor. Or so Javul says. Soon after Dash Rendar, broke and desperate, agrees to be Javul's bodyguard, he realizes that openness is not her strong suit – and that murder is stalking her tour. Between the discovery of dead bodies in a cargo hold and an attack by an unidentified warship, Dash and co-pilot Eaden Vrill desperately try to understand who is terrorizing Javul's tour and why. When Han Solo suddenly joins Javul's road show, the stakes are raised even higher. Now Dash, who has a history with Han and an even worse history with Prince Xizor, follows his instincts, his discoveries, and Javul herself – straight into a world that may be too dangerous to survive!
Shadows of the Empire
The Empire Strikes Back was a big hit, as was Return of the Jedi. But many fans wondered what our heroes were up to in preparation for Han’s rescue at Jabba’s palace. Shadows of the Empire fills the blanks in between the two films and gained enough popularity to be released in various media like comic adaptations, video games, and action figures.
His name is Xizor, Underlord of a galaxywide criminal organization called Black Sun. He seeks to displace Darth Vader as Emperor Palpatine's right hand. To do so, he will hatch a brilliantly evil plan to discredit Vader in the Emperor's eyes. But in the meantime he will join the Dark Lord in an unholy alliance whose common target is the young Rebel hero, Luke Skywalker.
While Vader and Xizor bait their trap for Luke, Han Solo is being held captive, flash-frozen in a carbonite slab. Mourning the loss of the man she loves, Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission to free Han. She enlists the aid of Luke, who is sharpening his skill in the Force at Ben Kenobi's home on the edge of Tatooine's Western Dune Sea. Skywalker organizes a crack fighting force, including Wedge Antilles and his famous X-wing squadron; Lando Calrissian; and the mercenary Dash Rendar. Yet the fierce battle that ensues to rescue Han will not go according to plan. For the Empire's spies are everywhere.
What's worse, though he is cold and reptilian, Xizor has a certain predatory charisma that not even Leia can totally resist. Against the judgment of Chewbacca, who has promised Han to keep her from harm, Leia walks willingly into Xizor's lair in a dangerous play of passion and willpower to get the information she needs to defeat him. At the same time, Luke stands in the crosshairs of a conspiracy of assassins and bounty hunters recruited by Xizor's lieutenant, the beautiful but lethal Human replicant Guri. As the struggle between Xizor and Vader intensifies, Luke finds himself the potential prize of the two most evil entities in the galaxy — one who wants him alive, and one who wants him dead.
In a final, explosive showdown, the Rebels must infiltrate Xizor's impregnable stronghold and fight the combined forces of Black Sun and the Empire in deep space. With death and betrayal looming on every side, Luke, Leia, Lando, and Chewie must use every weapon and resource at their disposal, including the Rebel fleet and some intriguing new allies, if they are to prove victorious. In Shadows of the Empire, Steve Perry adds an exciting new chapter to the Star Wars saga and introduces important new characters and situations no Star Wars fan will want to miss.
Shadows of the Empire (Graphic Novel)
In the third installment of AC Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, the final threads of Han’s backstory are expertly weaved together. After coming into possession of the Millennium Falcon, Han is looking for smuggling jobs. When he accidentally reunites with Bria Tharen, he is pulled into a mission with the Rebellion. However, not everything is as it seems, and Han soon finds himself on the wrong side of the Hutts, the Empire, and even supposed friends.
With Rebel Dawn, Crispin once again delivers a phenomenal story that not only serves as a perfect ending for her own trilogy, but a seamless springboard for the events of the Original Trilogy. Readers are in for an absolute treat as this fantastic trilogy comes to a close.
The Millennium Falcon is "the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy." So when Han Solo wins it in a game of sabacc, he and Chewbacca become kings of the smugglers--uncatchable, unstoppable. But with the Empire clamping down, Han knows his luck can't last. Still, when an old girlfriend who is now the leader of an insurgent Rebel group offers him a shot at an incredible fortune, Han can't resist. The plan seems a sure thing. The resistance will be light and the take enormous. Han and his friends will divide it equally with the Rebels. Too bad for Han that the planet of Ylesia is far from a pushover, that the Rebels have an agenda of their own, and that smuggler friends can often turn into enemies...quicker than lightspeed.