In a time long before Disney stepped in and purchased Lucasfilm, and even before George Lucas made the prequels, fans had to turn to the expanded universe in order to get new Star Wars content. One of the most shining and popular examples of this was Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. It was a major event that spanned across comic books, novels and video games. It remains a part of Star Wars lore that many fans still look upon fondly. Dash Rendar, one of the main characters introduced in Shadows of the Empire, is someone that many fans hope that Disney and Lucasfilm will bring into the new canon at some point, but it is doubtful that will happen. At least according to Rogue One co-writer Gary Whitta.

Gary Whitta not only co-wrote the script for the first Star Wars Story, he has also written some episodes of the animated series Star Wars Rebels. So he has some influence over things in a galaxy far, far away at this point. While speaking with ScreenRant, the writer was asked if he could possibly find a way to bring Dash Rendar into Star Wars Rebels season 4 and he didn't shoot it down entirely, but his answer wasn't overly encouraging. Here is what he had to say about it.

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"You know, there are certain people at Lucasfilm that would hang you from a tree for saying something like that. He's a very polarizing character! People either love Dash or they hate him. But obviously, one of the great things about Rebels is you get to introduce characters from the wider pantheon of Star Wars. One of the coolest things with season 3 is that we got to bring in Thrawn into the canon and make him an essential character on the show. So I think they're always looking for those opportunities but the people who work at Lucasfilm are very aware of not doing stuff necessarily just for fan service, you do it because it's something the show needs or can benefit from rather than just 'throw this in there because it's an Easter Egg and someone will notice."

At this point, the events of Shadows of the Empire, which take place between the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, have pretty much been made impossible to bring into the new canon because they have already put new stories in place during that time period. Disney and Lucasfilm reset everything when they took over and everything that isn't part of the new canon was labeled Star Wars Legends. That is currently where the Shadows of the Empire lore and Dash Rendar exists. But as Gary Whitta points out, Grand Admiral Thrawn was pulled into the new canon via Star Wars Rebels. So there is nothing that says the same couldn't happen for Dash Rendar. The problem is, there doesn't seem to be a good reason to bring him in and since he is a polarizing character within the Lucasfilm ranks, it seems even less likely that he would be rescued from the Legends lore.

For those who may not know, Dash Rendar is a smuggler very similar to Han Solo. He even hails from the planet Corellia, which just so happens to be where Han Solo is from. He pilots a similar ship to the Millennium Falcon called the Outrider and has a sidekick repair droid named LE-BO2D9, or "Leebo," who basically serves as his version of Chewbacca. The more than coincidental similarities between Dash Rendar and Han Solo probably is where this divisiveness stems from and why he isn't likely to be joining the Star Wars Rebels gang anytime soon.

There was some reason to think that Dash Rendar could be coming to Star Wars Rebels season 4 since his ship, or at least a YT-2400 light freighter that looked exactly like the Outrider, made an appearance this season. It looks like that may have just been a fun Easter egg and nothing more. At least for now. So Dash Rendar fans are going to have to bust out their Nintendo 64 and play Shadows of the Empire to get their fix, which isn't the worst thing in the world.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott