Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brings back a lot of characters from the original trilogy and features plenty of nostalgic references to the history of the sci-fi saga. However, there’s one particular character return that you almost certainly never noticed, and like a lot of the additional details about The Rise of Skywalker these days, the revelation came from supplementary sources and materials. The character in question is a bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back, and believe me when I say you will be perplexed by the manner in which this character has returned.
We all remember the scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader recruits some bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon after the ship escapes the Empire’s grasp during their attack on Hoth. This is where Boba Fett is brought into the movies, along with the likes of IG-88, 4-LOM, Zuckuss, Bossk, and Dengar. And it’s the latter bounty hunter who makes a strange comeback of sorts in The Rise of Skywalker.
For those who don’t remember, here’s what Dengar looked like in The Empire Strikes Back:
Dengar’s face doesn’t look like it’s in the best condition, and the wrapping around his head looks restricting, almost like a Mummy who just stumbled into a career as a galactic bounty hunter, which sounds like a pretty damn good idea for a movie. Anyway, in the years since, Dengar has been given plenty of history thanks to The Clone Wars, Marvel Comics, and more, but his life after The Empire Strikes Back appears to have been pretty rough, because this is what Dengar looks like now:
This image comes from the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, but the character is listed under the name Rothgar Deng. StarWars.com hinted at the origins of this character when pointing him out in the book in a post back in February that said this:
“Hanging out in the lair of the ne’er-do-wells known as the Thieves’ Quarter in Kijimi City is a bounty hunter with many cybernetic parts. An old Corellian hunter with an affinity for Imperial-era stormtrooper armor, using the alias Rothgar Deng. Like how Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba were hinted at but never mentioned outright in the Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, we get hints here of someone we ought to know. But I can’t seem to place a name to this now-hideous monstrosity of low-budget-augmentation who we might have seen during the Clone Wars and chasing the Millennium Falcon after Hoth. Deng it!”
It’s that last part that seemingly confirms that Rothgar Den is none other than Dengar, and the character’s description on the visual dictionary paints a pretty sad portrait of the once-thriving bounty hunter. The excerpt for Rothgar Deng, brought to our attention by Alan Johnson on Twitter, reads:
“Rothgar is an old and experienced Corellian bounty hunter, who is likely operating under an alias. He has been subjecting himself to cybernetic replacements in a poorly planned bid to live and work forever. As age began slowing his reflexes and dulling his senses, Rothgar turned to black-market surgical clinics to replace damaged or wizened body parts with ones that will give him an advantage in his dangerous trade. Poor decision making has led to a ghastly appearance.”
Yikes. That’s a pretty crummy fate for a character who has had a long life outside of the main movies. The character was even included as downloadable content in the Star Wars Battlefront II video game. Now he’s just a melted steampunk version of Mr. Freeze. Sorry, Dengar.
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