A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #9: Eye of the Beholder

dash-closeup2Not long after Michael and I signed our contracts, Dash Rendar’s appearance in Holostar hit the Web. TheForce.net passed the message along and, of course, there is speculation on the “boards” at StarWars.com (and other places) about whether Dash Rendar could be the titular holostar. (He’s not, okay? The holsotar is female.)

But speaking of Dash’s appearance, what the heck does the guy look like? Well, according to the artist who did the “rendaring” at the top of the article (whose name I was unable to ascertain), he loo150px-dash_rendar_soteeks like a young, blond version of  … er, well … Kevin Costner.

The comic books, meanwhile, gave us a guy who was a cross between Han Solo, Joe Flanigan and Elvis.

Then there’s the “dashing” pilot of the battle of Hoth, whom you video-gamers are familiar with.



As I was poking around, learning more about this character whose life is now in our hands (bwa-ha-ha), I saw scads of artist’s conceptions of him.

Take this one at the right from artist Michael Sutfin. Well, shucks—he looks more like Luke Skywalker … if you crossed him with an old Doctor Who companion named Turlough.

250px-dashliveactionNow, both these boys are are rather svelte when compared with the Dash Rendar designed by Jon Knoles for the card game. This guy could easily play linebacker for the San Francisco Forty-Niners (or team of your choice).

So … depending on who’s doing the beholding, Dash is a brunette, blond, redheaded guy standing somewhere around 6 feet, who’s well-built/buff/bulging with muscles, weighing in at somewhere between 150 and 250 pounds… (But look! They’re all wearing the same body armor.)

Hm. Too many choices for me. I can’t write a portfolio character. I have to pick one and stick with him or my Dash won’t be consistent and we’ll hear about it from you, dear readers. What’s the deciding factor?

His voice.

By that I mean more than just the way he speaks, although that’s part of it. It’s his ‘tude, the way he reacts to things, handles himself, and the way he thinks and acts when no one is looking. The voice I hear when a character speaks goes a long way toward determining how I see them.

Ah, yes, we come to the crux of the issue—Dash has been in card games, comic books and a video game. By their very nature these media forms have him always up to his blaster muzzle in action. But Michael and I have to dig deeper and get to the man behind the various artist’s images so that in quiet moments, we give you a Dash who is three-dimensional and likable. Fans tell me they are looking forward to seeing Dash fleshed out in Holostar because they also want to know how he thinks and acts when no one is looking.

So in order for me to have Dash’s voice be one I can slide into and write from smoothly and easily, I will “cast” Dash Rendar in my mind as a persona that looks like his “voice,” and so, reminds me constantly of how Dash is. Michael will very likely do the same thing.

Will our images of Dash Rendar be the same one? Maybe, but probably not. And that’s okay. As long as the Dash in Michael’s head sounds and acts and thinks the same way the Dash in my head does, you, dear readers, should never be able to tell if he sees a buff redhead and I a lean brunette.

So how do I see Dash Rendar? In answer to that, let me just say that I was a huge Stargate: Altantis fan… 🙂

Read my work on my Book View Café bookshelf.



A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #9: Eye of the Beholder — 9 Comments

  1. That one guy from Stargate? Seriously? You don’t mean Rodney McKay do you? 😛 Of course not. I think I know who you’re hinting at, and well, the ‘tude is a match, but I dunno about the voice. We’ll see how he comes off in the novel. 🙂 He would be a great choice to play the character though.

  2. Yeah, I can see how you might pick Rodney McKay for the archetype Dash Rendar, I mean the resemblance is striking. 😛

    For me, a persona is something you try on a character and if it works — fabulous. If it doesn’t, you work until you find one that does.

    When I wrote MAGIC TIME: ANGELFIRE I had a heck of a time picturing one of the protagonists, Cal, who was a young lawyer. He needed to be earnest, smart, intuitive, good-looking — all sorts of good stuff, but when I tried out the several actors that I might have cast in the role in the movie that Marc Zicree was pitching, I couldn’t “see” him delivering the lines I needed him to deliver in the “voice” I heard. I asked Marc who he wanted to cast in the part if the movie or TV script sold. It was Jerry O’Connell and Marc was dead bang on. When I tried Jerry O’Connell in the part, it worked.

    You know, now that I think of it, Christian Bale would do…

    It’s a mix and match sort of thing, but the important element, of course, is that the character has to “feel” right to the writer. Even physical appearance is subjective. If you say “good-looking” to me, for instance, I’m more likely to think Jeff Goldblum than Brad Pitt. 😉

  3. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about the character Rodney McKay, but John Sheppard. As played by Joe Flanigan, who was mentioned.
    I’d love to see JF play Dash or any other sci fi type role again, so you have my vote!

  4. I am so excited to hear that Dash is going to be in Holostar. I am DEFINITELY getting this book now. It’s been my hope to see the return of Rendar, so this is most welcome news. In capturing his voice, might I suggest listening to rock-a-billy. A lot of rock-a-billy.

  5. I always thought of Dash as a Dennis Quaid type dude, which he kinda favors in that first picture up there as well. Kevin Costner does’nt have that much hair!

  6. Dash is Randy Quaid if you ask me… though a young Randy Quaid … perhaps a National Lampoon’s Vacation Randy.

    Ok, in all seriousness, perhaps a Sean Bean w/o the British accent.

  7. Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. I’m getting more and more excited about the project myself.

    To Greg: Oh, no can do on the rock-a-billy. Must maintain sanity. How about heavy metal, will that do? I kinda featured him as a Tool kinda guy or maybe the Ronnie Dio incarnation of Black Sabbath.

    Well, okay, maybe I can compromise a bit more — Nickleback? Pearl Jam? I can do that.

    And to Sean: Sean Bean … now there’s a thought. That one image in the article does look sort of Beanish. And I’ve got all those episodes of Sharp’s to watch…

    Hold those thoughts, Dash fans!