A classic Star Wars character is getting ready to make his return to a galaxy far, far away. Dash Rendar, who fans will know from Shadows of the Empire, is the subject of an upcoming story in the Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 1. While this collection will feature tales about a number of characters, this particular inclusion is of note as it acknowledges one of the biggest stories that is no longer a part of the official canon in the franchise.
An excerpt from Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnoff's tale And Leebo Makes Three recently made its way online. The selection quickly name-dropped Dash Rendar, who is at the center of the tale. A piece of artwork depicting the character, who should look familiar to anyone who played the Shadows of the Empire video game for the Nintendo 64, was also revealed. The opening paragraph from the story reads as follows.
"The Rodian glanced around The Nexu's Den as if looking for someone he desperately hoped not to see. Sitting across from him at the dimly lit corner table in the seedy port bar, Dash Rendar absently wondered why he even bothered trying to see-the air was a bilious pall of deathstick smoke and other inhalants, all designed to make the present more interesting and the future less attainable. His lungs protested in spite of his shallow breathing."
For those who may not be familiar, Shadows of the Empire was a massive, multimedia initiative launched by Lucasfilm at a time when not much was happening with Star Wars. It included novels, video games, comics and toys, telling an original story set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Dash Rendar, the captain of a ship called the Outrider, was at the center of the story. Though viewed as a Han Solo rip-off by some, the character became quite popular in his own right. So having him appear in this new story is significant. Whether or not that leads to further appearances remains to be seen.
Shadows of the Empire and many other tales were wiped from the canon when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. Save for The Clone Wars animated series, everything else was designated as "Legends." Though many characters and storylines have since been repurposed in the official canon. Grand Admiral Thrawn, for example, was brought in as a villain in Star Wars Rebels season 3 and is now poised to become a larger part of the universe. So Dash Rendar could, in theory, make a similar jump.
Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 1 includes tales featuring iconic characters such as Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and Darth Vader, as well as Darth Plagueis, Cad Bane and Temmin 'Snap' Wexley. These stories are written by renowned Star Wars authors such as Jason Fry, Matthew Stover, Timothy Zahn, John Ostrander and Christie Golden. The collection additionally includes original artwork from artists who have done work with the franchise over the years including Joe Corroney, Brian Rood, Jan Duursema and John Van Fleet. Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 1 arrives on May 4. You can check out the full excerpt over at io9.