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SWV: Empire Strikes Back
by yo go re

The scene in Empire Strikes Back that introduces Vader's bounty hunters is a fan-favorite. You get all sorts of interesting characters, like Boba Fett, two rampaging killbots, a few crazy aliens... and a guy wrapped up in toilet paper. Go Dengar!

In the movie, Dengar stood perfectly still while Darth Vader gestured around the room and someone read his lines from off-screen (since you could barely hear David Prowse through the helmet).

In the Expanded Universe, Dengar was from the same planet as Han Solo, and the two knew each other when they were on the professional swoop bike racing circuit. During an unsanctioned race, Han burned Dengar's face with his exhausts, then caused him to crash and be impaled on the planet's crystaline plant-life. A good portion of Dengar's organs were replaced with cybernetics, and the only emotions he was left with were rage, despair and hope. As a bounty hunter he was feared almost as much as Boba Fett, mostly because he rarely bothered with the "or alive" part of a "dead or alive" bounty contract. His nickname was "Payback," and we swear to you, as silly as all that sounds, we didn't make any of it up.

For years it was assumed that the reason Dengar wore bandages wrapped around his head had to do with his injuries, but now that he's appeared on The Clone Wars, we know he's been wearing a turban like this since his younger days. The fact that it makes him look like he just has a normal human face is just a handy bonus.

Dengar's armor is cobbled together from Stormtrooper leftovers - and that's true whether we're talking from real-world or in-universe perspective. In our world, the costume department took some extra Stormtrooper bits and painted them brown; in the story, Dengar got his hands on some Imperial armor and painted it brown. How creative! Everything on this figure is a new sculpt of course, but if you're curious, the undersuit and chestplate come from a Snowtrooper, while the other pieces are taken from a Sandtrooper.

This figure is part of the Vintage Collection, which means two things: it's sold on one of those fancy cards for about five dollars more than it should cost, and it has really good articulation. Our boy Dengar has a balljointed head and torso, peg joints at the wrists and hips, and then swivel/hinge joints at the ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders. It's plenty. In fact, it's far more than Dengar will ever need. He's not a spry, delicate fellow who's going to be leaping through windows and high-stepping over obstacles - he's going to stand around like a lump. Why bother giving him all those joints, then? Because it's always better to have them than not. In fact, he could use more articulation in his hips; the T-crotch doesn't make it easy to pose his legs.

Dengar comes with a large black blaster rifle and a small pistol that fits in the holster on hi right leg. The butt of the big gun is painted brown, while the muzzle of the little one is silver. He has the same survival backpack as the 2004 release, and for some reason, his codpiece is removable. Why? We don't know. But if you ever wanted to see Dengar's FUPA, you're one step closer than ever before.

You'd think, as one of the six famous bounty hunters from Episode V, and with a better sculpt and articulation than any release before, this Dengar would have been one of the more popular releases. And you'd be wrong. We've seen Star Wars figures pegwarm before, but Dengar took it to a whole new epic level. He pegwarmed harder than a Boy Sccout learning to start a fire without any matches. Dengar was one of the first figures released in 2010, and you can probably still find it in stores today. The figure's good, make no mistake, but nobody seemed to buy him.

-- 01/26/13

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