Tuesday, May 11, 2010

30 Years of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - part 11

The Bounty Hunters - part 2

DENGAR: Of the six bounty hunters who appeared before Darth Vader aboard the Executor, Dengar is the only one who did not benefit from a close-up. Aside from Boba Fett, he's also the only other human bounty hunter in this scene.

Armored, scarred, and mean looking, Dengar is probably also the least popular of the bounty hunters featured in The Empire Strikes Back. This could possibly be because of the strange pseudo-turban head wear he was given. Surely meant to make him appear exotic, the effect comes across more like loosely wrapped bandages, or paper towels.

According to expanded universe lore, Dengar was once a successful swoop jockey (flying motorcycle racer) who made the mistake of racing against a young Han Solo. Colliding with Solo's swoop, Dengar suffered some head injuries and developed a grudge against Han Solo, not only for his injuries, but for being banished from the sport. Why this would make him turn to bounty hunting as an alternate career is not explained, but whoever came up with that back story must also have decided his head covering looked like bandages. If so, then that must be one serious head injury that he continues to wear them so many years later. 

While he might have been given less than his share of screen time in Empire, Dengar does appear in a few shots in the Jabba's palace scenes in Return of the Jedi

Seen here on the left, he has lost the weapons laden backpack which was given to him for The Empire Strikes Back and is brandishing a different gun and what looks like a slightly different head gear.

He can also be seen above, just above Leia's head. Also according to expanded universe lore, Dengar was the one who rescued fellow bounty hunter, Boba Fett from the belly of the Sarlacc. Fett returned the favor by serving as Dengar's best man when he wedded one of Jabba's dancing girls.



Shawn Robare said...

Wow, I never realized Dengar was in the Jaba scenes in ROTJ.

As far as teh backstory goes, I wonder how much of that came out of the glut of 90s era paperbacks? I was never a fan of that stuff because everything, absolutly everything had to tie back into characters seen onscreen in the first three flicks and it just made the universe so small...

John Rozum said...

Most of the backstory did in fact come out the novels that started pouring forth at the end of the 1990s, or from the role playing games a few years earlier, or the Magic: The Gathering type of card game that came out a few years later.

I completely agree with you and for the same reason. A cantina patron couldn't simply be an off duty mechanic, but either had to be a bounty hunter, a spy, or a bounty hunter with a grudge against Han Solo.

Not only did poor Greedo get reduced to being a bumbling bounty hunter (I always thought he was pretty cool, and the fact that Han took him out in the way he did, made Han even more of a badass), but after he died, his corpse was dragged off to the cantina's hidden rooms and turned into a beverage for Jabba the Hutt.

For things like this, I choose to pretty much ignore these biographical extensions. I merely include them here to be informative.