Thursday, June 28, 2012

Star Wars: Dash Rendar's Outrider

Presenting Dash Rendar's Outrider from the Star Wars Shadows of the Empire Toy line.

The Outrider is a heavily modified Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-2400 Light Freighter. It is a smaller - roughly by half - version of the YT-1300 Light Freighter. To be more blunt about it, it's a smaller version of the Millennium Falcon. And you can obviously see the similarities - round hull; side-cockpit; dorsal and ventral mounted weapons.

Because of this, a lot of people actually hate the Outrider. Dismissing it as a poor-man's Millennium Falcon. But we have to realize that in the Star Wars Universe, the Millennium Falcon is not the only YT-1300 flying around. And we really shouldn't be surprised that Corellian Engineering Corporation would try to improve on such a successful - infamous - design.

Dash Rendar Outrider's Blister card from the Star Wars Shadows of The Empire toyline reads a lengthy: "There are few who can shoot, fly and brag like Dash Rendar. As one of the most effective mercenaries and smugglers in the galaxy, he needs a craft large enough to hold a sizeable cargo, but with the speed and agility of a star fighter. The Outrider is such a ship. Its design is inspired by a Corellian freighter much like the famed Millennium Falcon, with a few different specifications. For one, the Outrider is more compact and a little quicker in sub-lightspeeds. It also has a beefed-up hyper drive and powerful twin shield generators housed in the forward main hulls. Rotating dual laser cannons are mounted on the top and bottom turrets, but its most notable feature is its conversion to battle mode. This is a state-of-the-art defense4 system in which the main hull separates from port to stern with a rotating swing-arm mechanism that provides the ship with an almost unlimited field of fire. In this mode the ship is extremely difficult to control unless flown by a master such as Rendar, whereby it can be extremely effective in battle. Moving just below lightspeed with swing-arm wildly circumventing the ships rotating axis, the Outrider may appear to be flying out of control when in fact, it is efficiently avoiding enemy fire and destroying enemy craft at an unbelievable rate. Many have compared the Outriders blast-cluster attacks to a hurricane, since it appears to be moving in every direction at once before snapping out of battle-mode and into lightspeed for an easy exit. With Dash Rendar in her cockpit, the Outrider is a devastating fighter and one of the most challenging targets in the galaxy."

Years later, Kenner stopped producing toys for Star Wars - probably because they wrote really long blister cards.

Dash Rendar's Outrider has the following Technical Specifications thanks to it's Star Wars Wiki:

  • Length - 21 Meters (The Falcon is 34.47 meters)
  • Width - 21 Meters (Falcon: 25.61 meters)
  • MegaLight (Non-hyperdrive speed) - 70 MGLT (The Falcon is faster at 75 MGLT)
  • Top Speed (Atmosphere) - 1, 150 kph (The Falcon is slower at 1,050 kph)
  • Hyperdrive Rating Class 0.75 (The Falcon is faster with a rating of .5 - for some strange reason, in the Star Wars Universe, the closer to 0 your rating is, the faster you are.)
  • Engine: 
    • KonGar KG Defender Ion Engines (The Falcon has 2 Girodyne SRB42 Sublight Engines)
    • SoroSuub Griffyn Y2TG Hyperdrive (The Falcon has an Avatar-10 Hyperdrive but eventually ends up with a Series 401 Hyperdrive Motivator)
  • Shields: Power-boosted Shield Generators (The Falcon has 4 types of shields)
  • Hull: Reinforced Titanium Armor (The Falcon has Duralloy Plating)
  • Weapons: (The Falcon is a walking arsenal, don't bother)
    • Dymek Heavy Dual Laser Cannon Turrets (2 - Ventral and Dorsal) 
    • Concussion Missile Tubes (2 - Forward Firing)

What's to like about Dash Rendar's Outrider?

Well it is nice to have a smaller Millennium Falcon hanging around the house that doesn't require two-to-three feet of storage space. The detailing of the Outider is also a plus for this toy and I'm particularly fond of the craft's landing gear which is more realistic rather versus the blocky-rectangles of the Power of the Force's Millennium Falcon which I have stored in the Dungeon.

Here are some photos showing the detail that went into Dash Rendar's Outrider:

What's NOT to like about Dash Rendar's Outrider?

Let's start with the fact that Darh Rendar's Outrider does not have this cannon extension on the port (left) side of the ship. What you should have at this end is a docking collar, similar to what the Millennium Falcon should have.

The cannon disrupts the sleek angles of the Outrider. It makes it look more like an assault craft or a pirate ship - which I'm sure some other unscrupulous Star Wars character has done - rather than a smuggler's ship which is what it's supposed to be.

The reason why this rotating turret was added is because of the next thing that we hate about Dash Rendar's Outrider: Someone tried to make it a B-Wing. You start by turning the dorsal and ventral turrets of the Outrider to face it's port side, then pulling both halves of the ship apart as shown here:

After that simply rotate both halves till they are perpendicular to the spine of the craft and voila! You have a really weird looking B-Wing Star-Fighter:

The Star Wars Shadows of the Empire: Dash Rendar's Outrider also has a rotating inner cockpit much like the B-Wing Starfighter has, so if you have Kenner's Dash Rendar figure - which sadly does not fit well into the pilot's seat - you can rotate him as well:

Let's pause to note that Dash Rendar's Outrider SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DO THIS!!!! This toy is non-canonical - and slightly stupid. Blade Wing Starfighters or B-wing Starfighters areso named because they extend their dorsal and ventral fins or "Blades" and look like crosses rotating around a spinning cock-pit, extend their "blades" to extend their field of fire - not to present a more confusing profile to be hit (It's a rolling-pig after-all and everyone's using targeting computers except Jedi).  We also know this because B-Wing Starfighters are heavily armored and shielded. They survive by being able to duke it out with larger foes and give as good as they get.

Switching to this B-wing mode actually reduces the forward firepower of Dash Rendar's Outrider because now the ventral and dorsal turrets cannot fire forward.

All you have left is the concussion missile launchers and the previously mentioned non-canonical turret. All this mode does is make the Outrider as difficult to manuever as the B-Wing because now the body of the craft is spinning around the cockpit.

Which really sucks. If Kenner wanted to pimp the Outrider by giving it the form of a B-Wing, it should have tried to give it the firepower of a B-Wing as well.

Epic fail. 

Amazon retails the Star Wars Shadows of the Empire : Dash Rendar's Outrider retails for US $ 29.99 (Roughly PhP 1,290 plus shipping). The Star Wars Power of the Force: Dash Rendar's Outrider retails for much more US$ 49.99 -(Roughly PhP 2,150 plus shipping) - why I do not know (They're identical). 

This particular Star Wars Shadows of the Empire was purchased at the Philippine Annual Toycon two years ago mint-in-box for PhP 250 (US$ 5.81). Unless you're really a fan of Star Wars - particularly of the Dash Rendar video game and the Shadows of the Empire novel, I would recommend steering away from this particular vehicle - though it's an interesting conversation piece (Unless it's dirt cheap. I mean who could resist an entire Millennium Falcon wannabee for only PhP 250?).  

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