Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Featured A Cameo From An Empire Strikes Back Character That We All Missed

Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brought back many notable characters from SW history, from the grand return of Palpatine to those vocal cameos at its climax. There’s one that even the most hardcore fan would be hard-pressed to pick up on, though. Partly because they’re only briefly on screen in the background of one scene, but mostly because they look nothing like they did the last time we saw them.

The character in question is Dengar, one of the bounty hunters employed by Vader in The Empire Strikes Back (as played by Morris Bush). Inspecting the images below, you wouldn’t think this creepy-looking cyborg with the emaciated inhuman face was the same person as the humanoid hunter from the Original Trilogy. But yup, that’s what’s heavily implied by the movie’s Visual Dictionary.

The tie-in book falls short of spelling out the connection, but Rothgar Deng, as he’s labelled, is heavily implied to be Dengar. The character description calls him an “old and experienced Corelian bounty hunter” who is presumed to be living “under an alias.” The reason for his much changed physical form is because he’s been “subjecting himself to cybernetic replacements” at “black-market surgical clinics” in a bid to make himself immortal. As the Visual Dictionary succinctly puts it, “poor decision making has led to his ghastly appearance.”

In a book that’s filled with revelatory facts that weren’t actually clarified on screen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, like Jannah being Lando’s daughter, that Palpatine was a clone and even the names of the Knights of Ren, this bizarre biography of Dengar/Rothgar Deng still manages to be the most surprising. Now that this is canon, though, we have to see how Dengar turned himself into a monstrous cyborg in some future Star Wars media. The Mandalorian season 2, anyone?