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"You rebel scum."
―Renz, to Han Solo — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Renz was a human male who served as a commander of the garrison that defended the Galactic Empire's shield generator bunker on the moon of Endor. In 4 ABY, the Alliance to Restore the Republic sent a strike team to disable the shield generator so that they could destroy the Death Star II superweapon that the shield protected. The team successfully gained entry to the bunker and captured Renz's superior Major Hewex, but Renz and a group of stormtroopers then forced them to surrender.

After the rebels were escorted outside, an army of native Ewoks attacked the Imperial forces at the bunker, causing the structure's doors to be sealed close. Renz and Hewex, who were inside the sealed bunker, were later contacted by the rebel Han Solo, who was disguised as an Imperial. Solo fooled the Imperial officers into believing that the rebels had been defeated, so Hewex sent Renz to open the bunker's back door. The rebels then managed to enter the bunker and destroy it, allowing for the destruction of the Death Star.

Biography[]

Capturing rebels[]

Renz captured Han Solo and his rebel allies.

Renz was a human male who served as a commander in the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War against the Alliance to Restore the Republic.[2] He and his superior[1] Major Hewex commanded the garrison of Imperial Army troops that defended the shield generator bunker on the Forest Moon of Endor. The bunker provided the shield that protected the Death Star II superweapon while it was being constructed above the moon. As such, all of the Imperial officers assigned to it were seasoned agents, with many leaving important positions to come to Endor.[2]

In 4 ABY,[3] an Alliance strike team landed on Endor to disable the shield generator so that the Alliance Fleet could attack the Death Star. With aid from the moon's native Ewoks, the strike team managed to gain entry to the bunker via a back entrance and was able to surprise Hewex and several of his men, forcing them to surrender. The rebels then began preparing to plant detonite charges to destroy the bunker but were interrupted by Imperial reinforcements arriving as part of a trap set by Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine. The first Imperial to confront them,[1] Colonel Dyer,[2] was killed by the rebel Han Solo, but Renz then arrived with a squad of stormtroopers and forced the rebels to surrender, rescuing Hewex and his men in the process.[1]

Duped by Solo[]

"It's over, Commander. The rebels have been routed. They're fleeing into the woods. We need reinforcements to continue the pursuit."
"Send three squads to help."
―A disguised Han Solo fools Hewex — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Renz and Hewex were fooled by Han Solo.

The stormtroopers then escorted the captive rebels out of the bunker, but they were attacked by an army of Ewoks. After several officers fled back inside the bunker, its doors were shut and sealed with Renz and Hewex inside, safe from the battle raging above. After some time, the pair received a viewscreen communication from an All Terrain Scout Transport driver informing them that the battle was over and that the victorious Imperials needed reinforcements to chase down rebel survivors.[1]

Renz and Hewex grinned at the good news, and Hewex ordered Renz to open the back door so three squads could be sent to help. However, the message had been a ruse by a disguised Solo, and the three squads leaving the bunker found themselves surrounded by rebels and Ewoks.[1] The rebels then entered the bunker and forced a crestfallen Hewex and his men out[4] before placing their charges and successfully destroying the shield generator, allowing the Alliance Fleet to destroy the Death Star and claim victory.[1]

Personality and traits[]

"Open the back door."
"Sir."
―Hewex and Renz were fooled by Han Solo — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Renz considered the rebels he helped capture scum,[1] snarling the insult at them.[4] He was later fooled by Solo's impersonation of an Imperial. He had light skin and brown hair.[1]

Equipment[]

Renz wore a black Imperial officer's uniform that included a belt, a cap, gloves, and boots. He used a DL-21 blaster pistol while apprehending Solo and the other rebels.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

A great line[]

"As regards my nickname "Rebel Scum"! by the famous cameraman Alan Hume [sic]. He was of course the lighting cameraman on Return of the Jedi and I had worked with him many times over the years. Another nice man with no ego and every time I turned up on a set he was working on he would shout out "We've got 'Rebel Scum' with us today"!"
―Barrie Holland[src]

Renz was portrayed by Barrie Holland in Return of the Jedi.

Renz was portrayed uncredited[1] by Barrie Holland in the 1983 original trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. After portraying an Imperial officer in several scenes with Darth Vader actor David Prowse, including Palpatine's arrival on the Death Star II, Holland was informed by an assistant director that he should change into a black Imperial officer's uniform and then go and speak to director Richard Marquand, who offered Holland the role of Renz as the pair had previously worked together on the film Eye of the Needle.[5]

The interior bunker scenes took a day and a half of shooting and were filmed on Stage 8 at Elstree Studios[6] on March 23 and 24, 1982.[7] Renz's line was originally written as "That is correct, rebel scum!" in response to the rebels' realization that they had walked into a trap, but it was shortened on set.[6] In some takes, Holland tried delivering the line in an American accent rather than an English one.[8] Due to the line, cameraman Alan Hume nicknamed Holland "Rebel Scum" while he was on set.[5]

A complicated scene[]

"During the very first rehearsal of the scene Harrison Ford said to me "What did you call me?" and playfully slapped my face. It was a very complicated scene to do and took one and a half days of continuous filming from various angles."
―Barrie Holland[src]

Harrison Ford slapped Barrie Holland across the face during the first take of their scene together.

During the first take of the scene, Harrison Ford, who portrayed Han Solo, playfully slapped Holland in the face and responded "What did you call me?" after Renz's line calling Solo scum.[6] Holland describes the scene as very hard to do, as it was on a small set and the timing had to be perfect so that Solo turned to face Renz's gun.[9] A timing light was used to alert Holland to when he needed to enter the set, and he tried running in on different beats between one and ten after the light in different takes, eventually finding eight to be the perfect timing.[5]

Due to the limited visibility caused by their costumes, the stormtroopers who arrived with Holland were dependant on him taking his place correctly so that they could find theirs. After many attempts, Holland and Ford eventually got the take after discussing it over coffee. Although Holland considered his Star Wars role just another job,[9] he believes he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to get the role of Renz and what he considers a great line of dialogue. In his brief appearance, he feels he managed to portray Renz as a forceful officer whose ruthless manner summed up the power of the Empire.[5]

Naming and errors[]

"Freeze, you rebel scum!"
―Renz's altered line in Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

In the new Star Wars canon, Renz's name was first used in a tweet from the official Star Wars UK Twitter account on March 21, 2019.[10] The name originated in the Star Wars Legends continuity, where it was first given on a card in the Endor Limited set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, produced by Decipher, Inc. and released in 1999.[11]

In Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!, a 2015 adaptation of Return of the Jedi written by Tom Angleberger, Renz's line of dialogue is altered to "Freeze, you rebel scum!"[4] In "The Battle of Endor and the Fall of the Empire," which was published as part of De Agostini's Star Wars Encyclopedia series[2] on June 29, 2021,[12] the names of Renz and Commander Igar are erroneously swapped in a pair of image captions.[2]

Appearances[]

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Notes and references[]

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