Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has a lot of clothing options, but none are as cool as dressing up as Dash Rendar from Shadows of the Empire. This image is part of an article about how 2024's game stories could possibly top 2023.

Jedi: Survivor’s Best Outfit Is a Shadows of the Empire Throwback

This article contains minor spoilers for the opening few hours of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in its discussion of how it incorporates a nod to Shadows of the Empire.

Recommended Videos

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor delivered on a lot of my hopes and expectations. It’s the kind of big, exciting sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order that sands down some of the rough edges of the original, while doubling down on all the things that worked the first time around. But while I’ve been thrilled with how well it plays and how much the Metroidvania loop has hooked me, nothing about the game has surprised me as much as the moment I walked into a new shop, only to discover that I could cosplay as Dash Rendar, from 1996’s Shadows of the Empire.

After the opening linear mission on Coruscant, Jedi: Survivor shifts its focus to Koboh, which acts as a major hub throughout Cal’s adventure. As you explore the world, you meet a slew of NPCs (including Turgle, who the internet including myself would be willing to die for) looking for someplace to call home, and the settlement of Rambler’s Ranch becomes a bit of a second home to all of these wandering souls. Folks start to gather around town, abandoned buildings are filled, and Pyloon’s Saloon transforms from an empty dive to a bustling (but still delightfully divey) bar. But as much as I adore the saloon, it’s one particular store in Rambler’s Ranch that stopped me right in my galaxy-trotting tracks.

Early on in the game, an alien named Doma Dendra will open up a small shop near Pyloon’s Saloon where you can trade in the various Priorite Shards you stumble across on Koboh for a variety of items. By the time the store opened up, I had already scrounged up about 20 of the shards just from exploring every nook and cranny of the planet, so discovering a use for these trinkets was a nice reward in itself.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has a lot of clothing options, but none are as cool as dressing up as Dash Rendar from Shadows of the Empire.

Doma’s wares include music tracks for the bar’s DJ, a key that unlocks another building in town, and cosmetics like new haircuts and outfits. Seeing as how Cal feels so much better to control in Jedi: Survivor, he might as well look better too. But don’t worry, his infamous poncho for Fallen Order is still a part of his wardrobe, if you so choose to go with that throwback look.

But as I scrolled through the various clothing items in the store with nondescript names like “Frontier” and “Corsair,” I hit an outfit named “Outrider” and was immediately hit with a nostalgic ton of bricks. For the low price of just a few Priorite Shards, Jedi: Survivor lets you dress up as Dash Rendar from the 1996 Star Wars novel and Nintendo 64 game Shadows of the Empire.

Shadows of the Empire was part of a big push to reinvigorate the Star Wars franchise in the years leading up to the release of The Phantom Menace and the prequel trilogy. It included the Steve Perry novel, a comic, tons of toys and merchandise, and the Nintendo 64 game of the same name. Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it centered around a Rebel ally named Dash Rendar and his mission to try to rescue Han Solo from Boba Fett. Things got more complicated with a green dude named Prince Xizor who rocked a mean ponytail, and honestly, that’s about all I remember about that man.

But Dash Rendar and his ship the Outrider are ingrained in my memory. As a fortunate Nintendo 64 owner at launch, the lineup was slim pickings for a hot minute once you collected 120 Stars in Super Mario 64 for the 10th time. But a few months after launch, LucasArts released Shadows of the Empire, a game that I quickly fell in love with.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has a lot of clothing options, but none are as cool as dressing up as Dash Rendar from Shadows of the Empire.

As primarily a console gamer growing up, this was my first taste of a Star Wars game that actually felt like Star Wars. Yeah, we had the weird movie games for SNES, but those tried to fit the square peg of the beloved trilogy into the round hole of a tough-as-nails 2D action platformer that leaned a bit too heavily into bullet-hell madness.

On the other hand, Shadows of the Empire portrayed Dash Rendar’s adventure with all the trappings of what we’d consider to be a modern action-adventure game. You explored familiar planets and locations, battled enemies like stormtroopers, wampas, and bounty hunters, and encountered beloved characters from the movies. The game even mixed up the formula by tossing in vehicle levels (which, to be fair, the SNES games also attempted) like the swoop bike chases and one of the most memorable of the many, many renditions of the Battle of Hoth.

Like many games of the era, Shadows of the Empire can be a bit cumbersome to revisit several decades later, especially if you don’t have the nostalgia or patience for the early days of 3D gaming when developers were still finding their sea legs. Thankfully, Jedi: Survivor‘s fashion options let you cosplay as the pilot of the Outrider with all of the modern bells and whistles.

While the Disney acquisition initially placed Rendar into “Legends” status alongside the rest of the Expanded Universe, the Outrider made a cameo during the final act of 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker. I don’t blame you for not remembering a split-second shot from a bad movie that many of us wish we could erase from our memories. But between that and Jedi: Survivor’s clothing options, it’s been a big couple of years for Dash Rendar, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now if only EA and Respawn would release some DLC that lets us dress up in Prince Xizor’s cool robes.

Related: Does Star Wars Jedi Survivor Have Multiple Endings Answered on Twinfinite

The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Marty Sliva
Marty Sliva
Marty Sliva was the Deputy Editor of The Escapist. He's been writing and hosting videos about games, movies, television, and popular culture since 2011, and was with The Escapist from 2019 until 2023. In a perfect world, he'd be covering Zelda, Persona, and the hit TV series Lost on a daily basis.