I guess Dash Rendar is canon again

It literally does not get more ’90s than this.

Thanks, Jason Fry. He included the much-mocked Shadows of the Empire Han substitute Dash Rendar in Tales from Vandor – briefly. There are a few other Legends nods in the book, summed up nicely by Star Wars Explained:

So Dash’s existence – yes. His shoulder pads? Unknown.

For those who missed the 90s, Shadows of the Empire was a novel/comic book/multimedia experience that came out in 1996. It was set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and Dash was intended to fill the Han-shaped role in the narrative. Like Han, he was a Corellian smuggler. Unlike Han, he didn’t really get a whole lot of love and his shoulder pads were gigantic. (To be fair, that was a huge trend in ’90s comic books.) Dash later went on to inexplicably co-star in the 2011 novel Shadow Games, something which utterly baffled most of EU fandom at the time.

Shadows of the Empire got a bigger publicity boost than most of the post-Heir to the Empire, pre-New Jedi Order expanded universe, but in the end, it’s every bit as decanonized as they are – aside from a few things. Like the criminal syndicate Black Sun, which made it into The Clone Wars. And now, Dash.

(Shadows last made news when Pablo Hidalgo revealed that Shadow of the Empire was a possible title for The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi turned out to be the first movie to share a title with a Legends novel, but luckily, in that case, the novel was a lot more forgettable.)

For those interested in a deep-dive on Shadows, Full of Sith did a good take on it in 2014. The book has not aged particularly well, though I recall many of the same concerns were voiced on the Club Jade mailing list at the time. (Particularly anything to do with Xizor and his, uhh, “forced seduction” attempt on Leia. That’s not okay, Star Wars. Not even in 1996.)

Canon or not, you’ll always be Diet Coke to us, Dash. But hey, at least you’re not Xizor.