"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
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.
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.