Bantam Spectra editor Tom Dupree's pre-manuscript note to Steve Perry.
"We know [Rendar is] designed to be around while the swashbuckling Han is encased in carbonite, but we don't want Dash to be a carbonite copy of Mr. Solo. Our suggestion is that rather than thinking of him simply as a mercenary, Dash is more like a swaggery Top Gun-style fighter pilot. A guy with real talent but a bit of a braggart and a blowhard, too. Luke doesn't like him, not only because of this in-your-face personality but also because of the natural competitiveness between these two pilots."
Dash Rendar was developed for the 1996 multimedia project Shadows of the Empire and appeared in its novel, comic and video game incarnations. Star Wars Insider 28 and Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 6, both released in early 1996, were the first published sources to mention Rendar in articles previewing Shadows of the Empire and a preview of Bill Smith's 1996 reference book, The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. Though a high profile character, Rendar had only a supporting role in the narrative of Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire comics and novel. It was in the Shadows of the Empire game for the Nintendo 64 and PC that Rendar was the star as players controlled the mercenary through twelve separate missions following the course of the Shadows storyline.
Early life and career
"He doesn't want to owe anybody, doesn't want anybody to owe him. He works for whoever pays the most. He's downright magic with anything that flies, and he can pick wing nuts off a tabletop with a blaster without scorching the finish. He's a good man to have at your back when the going gets hot—as long as your money lasts."
--Lando Calrissian, on Dash Rendar
Dash Rendar was a Human male smuggler and freelancer. Born into a wealthy Corellian family during the final years of the Galactic Republic, he chose to pursue a career as an officer in the Imperial Navy rather than joining the family shipping business. When his parents refused to sell their business to Prince Xizor, owner of Xizor Transport Systems and leader of the Black Sun crime syndicate, the Dark Prince sabotaged a freighter flown by Rendar's older brother, Stanton, killing him as his ship crashed into the Imperial Museum. Emperor Palpatine blamed the Rendar family, exiling them from the Core Worlds and dismissing Rendar from the Imperial Academy on Carida.
Fleeing to the Outer Rim Territories, Rendar gained a reputation as a hot-shot pilot, smuggler, and mercenary. His success gained him his own ship, the YT-2400 light freighter Outrider, and the services of the Cybot Galactica LE-series repair droid LE-BO2D9 as his co-pilot.
Despite his personal reasons for disliking the Empire, Rendar refused to get involved in the growing Rebellion. His motivation was profit and, though he occasionally took on work for the Rebel Alliance, he insisted on being well compensated. In 0 ABY, Rendar boarded the luxury liner Star of Empire with the intention of stealing it to sell to the Rebels. Before he could act, however, the ship's computer, an artificial intelligence known as SIM, took control of the ship itself. Rendar was one of the few passengers trapped aboard and joined forces with the Shi'ido Mammon Hoole and his adopted children, Tash and Zak Arranda, to escape the ship and defeat SIM.
He later took a job escorting the famous swoop racer Kimmi Chyler, smuggling supplies for the Rebels as he traveled. His work came to the attention of both the Imperial Security Bureau and Prince Xizor but, despite multiple attempts to stop him, Rendar successfully completed several deliveries.
The Rebel Alliance
In 3 ABY, while delivering supplies to the Alliance's Echo Base on Hoth, Rendar was trapped on the planet when the Empire attacked and helped Rogue Squadron hold off Imperial ground forces until the Rebels could evacuate, destroying an all Terrain Armored Transport in the process. Following the Battle of Hoth, Rendar was hired by the Rebel Lando Calrissian to track down Han Solo, who had been captured by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Rendar soon discovered that Fett had recently been involved in a dogfight with the bounty hunter droid IG-88D, who had traveled to the junkyard world of Ord Mantell to scavenge for spare parts to repair his ship. Betting that IG-88D knew where Fett had gone following the fight, Rendar followed the droid to Ord Mantell. Leebo used the Outrider's scanners to determine IG-88D's exact location, in a salvage plant at the far end of the junkyard from their landing spot.
Leebo informed Rendar that a hovertrain led straight to the salvage plant's loading door. Boarding the nearest hovertrain, Rendar rode it until the tracks ran parallel to those of the train that led to his destination. As the two trains moved alongside each other, Rendar leaped across the gap and made his way to the front of the new train. The salvage plant's loading door was closed but, once Rendar reached the engine car, Leebo was able to remotely disable the hovertrain's auto-brakes, causing the train to crash straight through the door. Inside, he was confronted by IG-88D, who revealed that he had indeed tracked Fett to the Zhar system. Unwilling to let Rendar stop him from taking Solo from Fett, the droid opened fire. Rendar fought back and was able to defeat the bounty hunter.
Rendar reported his findings to Calrissian and headed to the Imperial moon base on Gall in the Zhar system to confirm Fett's location. Landing the Outrider safely out of sight in Smuggler's Gorge, Rendar left Leebo to watch the ship and proceeded on foot to the base's observation tower, hoping to access the central computer and find which hangar bay contained Fett. Making his way along the cliffside, Rendar encountered several Imperial patrols before reaching the entrance to the base itself. Rendar fought his way through the base until he reached the observation tower and accessed the computer, learning that Fett was docked in the second tower, on the other side of the nearby canyon.
Taking a jetpack from the observation tower, Rendar crossed to another section of the Imperial base. As he continued to move through the base, Rendar came upon a large hangar containing an AT-ST. Using his jetpack to dodge its laser blasts, Rendar fired on the walker and eventually succeeded in felling it. A nearby switch provided access to the facility's ventilation system, which Rendar followed until it led him back outside near a waiting hoversled. Taking the hoversled to yet another section of the base, Rendar finally reached the landing pad where Fett's ship, Slave I, was docked. Fett opened fire upon seeing Rendar, but the smuggler fought back and Fett eventually fled into his ship. Slave I took off and Fett tried to use its weapons against Rendar, but the smuggler was able to damage the ship, leaving Fett stuck on Gall.
Following this, Rendar was hired by Princess Leia Organa to watch over the young Jedi Luke Skywalker after a recent attempt on his life. After saving Skywalker from a swoop gang on Tatooine, Rendar accompanied him on a mission to recover the plans to the Empire's second Death Star battlestation from the Mobquet medium transport Suprosa. Following Leebo's directions, Rendar worked his way through the ship toward the main cargo hangar where the supercomputer was located, encountering heavy resistance from the Suprosa's crew along the way. Upon reaching the cargo hangar, Rendar was attacked by a loader droid, but was able to destroy the droid and locate the supercomputer. After Rendar disabled the hangar force field, Leebo brought the Outrider into the hangar to collect the smuggler and the supercomputer.
The mission was a success, but an apparent mistake by Rendar cost the lives of many Bothan pilots. Seeking to make amends, Rendar helped to rescue Organa when she was held prisoner by Xizor in his palace on Coruscant. Skywalker instructs Rendar to find a way to cover their escape while the others search for Organa. They eventually ran into Organa, who had managed to escape from her room. Rendar makes his own way through the sewers leading to the palace, and places pulse bombs on the service panels for the elevator connecting the palace to Xizor's skyhook, destroying the palace and cutting off the skyhook. Once safely away from the palace, the Outrider, the Millennium Falcon and Luke's X-Wing pursue Xizor, but they were soon attacked by a group of Black Sun vessels. The three ships were heavily outnumbered but were soon reinforced by Rogue Squadron, who had been waiting at the edge of the Coruscant system following an earlier message from Leebo.
However, Xizor's forces still had a numerical advantage and the battle was slowly turning against the Rebels until the arrival of Imperial forces led by Darth Vader on a Star Destroyer. Vader had learned of Xizor's attempts to kill Skywalker and dispatched his TIE fighters to intercept Xizor's forces. Dash flew into the Skyhook to destroy it from the inside, as it was about to explode, the Outrider appeared to have been destroyed before escaping, but Rendar merely faked his death by jumping into hyperspace at the last minute to avoid reprisals from Black Sun and the Empire.
Later life and career
"Captain, I do not understand. Why do you not want Commander Skywalker and the others to know that we survived and made the jump to hyperspace?"
"Well, as much fun as that was, I don't see us joining the ranks of that crazy Rebellion. Too dangerous, and too much money to be made elsewhere, my friend. On top of that, someone from Black Sun will take Xizor's palace, and when that happens, you can bet your servo-motors they'll send every thug in the galaxy after us. But if everyone thinks we're dead, who's gonna be looking? Besides, it's good to be remembered as a martyr without actually having to be dead, wouldn't you say?" --Leebo and Dash Rendar
The rumors of his death allowed Rendar to lay low for some time. In the years following his apparent death, there were sporadic sightings of Rendar and the Outrider, none of which were confirmed by the Rebel Alliance's successor, the New Republic. Dash showed up again when the Alliance attempted to prevent Guri being used by Xizor's niece Savan in an attempt to revive Black Sun.
Dash met up with Guri in a cantina on Hurd's Moon and the pair began a partnership. Shortly thereafter the pair helped Kyle Katarn infiltrate the Tof fortress world of Saijo. Dash and Guri also set up ODT, a company that constructed Human Replica Droids on Onadax in the Minos Cluster. They had used the company to bring Dash's brother, Stanton, back to life, but both had left the company by the time it was infiltrated by Jaina Solo. It was rumored that during the Yuuzhan Vong War he was responsible for sabotaging Peace Brigade shipments.
Tall and lean, with red hair, green eyes and pale skin, Rendar was considered attractive and was popular with both students and teachers alike during his time at the Imperial Academy. The death of his brother changed Rendar, leaving him with a bitter resentment of both the Empire and Black Sun. He lost the clean-cut looks and well-spoken voice, developing a more chiseled, muscular appearance with the lazy, insolent attitude common among smugglers, and giving those he met the impression of a rugged, streetwise mercenary with a sharp wit.
Despite his outward appearance of nonchalance, Rendar was constantly aware of his surroundings and his hand rarely strayed far from his blaster. These traits marked him as a survivor, and he was even prepared to fake his own death to avoid retribution from Black Sun after his involvement in the death of Prince Xizor.
Released for the N64 in 1996 and for the PC in 1997, the player controls Dash Rendar with the events taking place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The game spans the Battle of Hoth to the end space battle at Xizor's Skyhook where Dash destroys the station and fakes his death to dodge the Empire and the Black Sun. Dash is voiced by John Cygan for the PC version.
During Battle 4: The Bothan Connection, the player helps Dash Rendar in the capture of the Imperial freighter Suprosa which carries the Death Star II plans. Dash is voiced by John Cygan.
Dash Rendar is a character available as a hero in the custom scenario editor. Dash is once again voiced by John Cygan in the PC version.
While Leepo and Dash do not make an appearance and the game is non-canon, they are referenced by NPCs on Hoth, "Glad K-3PO is here. He's got some great supplies. Cheaper than that smuggler guy was. Rendar, that was him. And his droid, Leebo, creeped me out too."