I’m not a big fan of retcons, especially when they are just excuses to shoehorn in new major characters; characters that obviously didn’t belong in a scene for any other reason than to let a player relive action from Empire Strikes Back. If I wanted to do this, I would want to do through Han, Luke, Leia, or Chewie… or even one of the Hoth Sergeants or Tech Officers. I’ll run around blowing up Wampas and Imperial forces until my heart’s content. But create a third generation rip-off of Han Solo and stick him into the mix and things start feeling a little less like Star Wars.

Dash Rendar was the hero of the Shadows of the Empire video game for Nintendo 64. His story actually begins immediately before the Empire attacks the Rebels at the Hoth Base. A battle in which he now takes a significant, largely uncredited part (most casual fans don’t even know who Rendar is, or what Shadows of the Empire is! But that’s okay, you aren’t missing much). He not only fends off the Imperial Walkers, but does battle with Snowtroopers and Wampas inside the collapsing Rebel base. You can watch some of this scene via the Youtube link below.

Dash, like his name suggests, is supposed to be a dashing rogue. The Brothers’ Hildebrandt turned him into a 1980s steroid pumping super hero, while the Dark Horse comics opted for a more 90s, grunge inspired, stubble wearing appearance. Both versions however had the same personality. Dash was a charmless Han Solo substitute, most likely introduced to compensate for the lack of any Han Solo during this bizarre multimedia sequel to Empire Strikes Back. That fact he is a cocky smuggler with a high opinion of himself might have been more palatable if, like Han Solo, he was used as comic relief. However, like I said, he lacks any charm to make up for his arrogance and his appearance belongs in the comic universe, nowhere else.

(Left) Rob Liefield’s Cable from X-Men, (Above) Tim and Gregg Hildebrandt’s Dash Rendar from the Shaodws of the Empire Card series

Dash reminds me of one of those over-the-top muscle-bound super heroes from the X-Men comics in the 1990s. Leanne took the liberty of adding the X-Men belt buckle as a subtle joke.

Did I mention that he flies around in what is obviously a ship that is inspired by the Millennium Falcon called the Outrider? His version of Chewbacca is a droid named Leebo who is obviously less insane and heroic and worries his boss might be pissing off the reader / player / listener audience. Poor Leebo. Perhaps, if he’s lucky, he’ll wind up in the Dune Sea and be salvaged by Jawa traders!

Leanne was excited about designing the BMS Dash Rendar and she really didn’t exagerate his look THAT far when you consider how enormous the Hildebrandts decided to make him. Anyway, who needs Dash Rendar when you have Han Solo…. Oh shit… wait! I hope they get Han Solo back soon!

I’ll be paying tribute to the late, Richard LeParmentier “Admiral Motti” in Friday’s upcoming blog.