Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dengar (ESB 1980-82)

Maybe Dengar wasn't the most glamorous of figures. Maybe he didn't have as much play value. But damnit - look at him! He's a man's man. He doesn't care if you've been out on the trail pushing cattle and you haven't showered in 8 days. He's been there man.

Dengar, obviously known as one of the bounty hunters summoned by Vader to hunt down Han Solo and the bunch in The Empire Strikes Back. Why do you want this figure? Five reasons:

1. That scowl. You can just imagine that the galactic Time-Life series "Bounty Hunters," says he once shot a man for snoring too loud.

2. He doesn't need fancy equipment - he's got scavenged armor from a snowtrooper and sandtrooper.

3. He's got the guts to wear said armor in an Imperial star destroyer in front of the second-in-charge Imperial Dark Lord.

4. He's got a big laser rifle. I hear the ladies like that.

5. He's a bounty hunter - you need all of them.

This figure came on an Empire Strikes Back card and later a Return of the Jedi card (in the U.S.). Although he had a little more screen time than some flash-in-the-pan characters, he never had a coin like that cocky Amanaman!


Dengar once was an acquaintance/rival of Solo's on Corellia when they were younger. In a swoop bike race (see the Wookieepedia if you don't know that reference) Han flashed Dengar with his burners, scarring him for life. Dengar thought it was on purpose and set about getting his revenge on Solo - Episode VI was originally named "Revenge of Dengar: You Know, That One Bounty Hunter You Saw For 10 Seconds in The Empire Strikes Back." Dengar jumped at the Empire's offer to hunt down Solo. In the course of doing so, Dengar fell in love with some native woman and settled down. He also mellowed out and forgave Han a bit.

His backstory is actually much more extensive, involving Imperial cybernetic implants and service to the Empire after his swoop crash. He later defected and became a bounty hunter, was recaptured by the Empire and given a choice of death or hunt for them. He was also occasionally recruited by the Rebellion, and only really knew emotions again (he was kind of emotionless because of his implants) when the Aruzan woman Manaroo shared her feelings with him cybernetically. This all happened in the novels, so let's just pretend he's still a mysterious Marlboro Man - without all the smoke (the Empire went smoke-free after it was found that it was almost impossible to wash out of Vader's cape).

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