In our video podcast review of Solo, Bea and I didn't hold back about our adoration for the latest Star Wars story, and with the announcement at San Diego Comic Con this week that Clone Wars would be coming, it seems like the perfect time for a deep dive.
Lucasfilm and Disney appear to have lowered the expectations of fans as to the connections to the larger Star Wars universe, as this is the prequel-to-saga bridge movie that really delivers on showing how the empire held power in the galaxy. But to the films credit, it doesn't necessarily put all that information in the most obvious face. I mean place. No, I think I really did mean face. This article is really going to go deep on some fandom fueled theories, but it's my distinct impression Dryden Vos was at the very least trained by Mandolorians. There will be spoilers from here.
In the film's final twist, the revelation of Darth Maul as the leader of Crimson Dawn is something fans were surprised to see, but there is some subtle foreshadowing of what's coming if we take a look at Dryden Vos and the impressive array of loot sprawled throughout his states-room on his space yacht. Vos' suite was adorned with much more than the jewels Qi'ra told Han she wanted to make off with. While many are calling the items out as Easter Eggs, I think Ron Howard was laying the backstory of Vos.
We know very little about Dryden Vos' backstory, after he replaced Michael Williams during the reshoots because of scheduling conflicts, Bettany's character was made a "near-human" alien. His backstory is paper thin, 1st mentioned as the head of Crimson Dawn in a Han and Chewie adventure book of all places. The villain clearly knows quite a bit about the force and the sith, including how to wield ancient sith daggers. Now, as for being a near-human alien species, could he in fact be a Mandalorian?
One of the first things fans noticed when Dryden was introduced in a photo given to was the prominence of Mandalorian Armor in the background of his press photo. It appears to be the only armor in the room letting us assume that it's more significant to Vos than just decoration. If so, we would probably want to identify the original owner. The only two Mandos I'm aware of that wore red armor in the expanded universe both happen to have been female members of the Cuy'val Dar.
The Commando troopers of the Clone Wars had more specialized training than a standard Clone of Jango Fett. They were put through there paces by a group called the Cuy'val Dar, a group of mostly Mandos that Jango had drafted into service. While it's membership appeared in the Clone Wars' episode "Clone Cadets", the group was established in the novels surrounding the Republic Commando games. Its membership was formed of mercenaries and mandalorians either loyal to Jango Fett or desperate to disappear.
The Cuy'val Dar's two female Mandos in it's ranks, Vhonte Tervho and Rav Bralor were both depicted wearing red armor with silver trim. Bralor was made into a toy for the Entertainment Earth Exclusive, though many took note that her armor was closer to that of illustrations depicting Vhonte Tervho. Tervho's claim to Star Wars fame is that she's the Mando that taught Boba Fett how to wield two blasters. Working under what I like to call BLATANT SPECULTATION the armor in the movie could be an amalgamation of sorts. Was Dryden Vos' trained by the Cuy'val Dar or was he tasked with hunting them down or some form of both? If Dryden Vos was a Mandalorian himself that would make a lot of sense, as would his scars.
We know by the film's end Vos' had bent the knee to Darth Maul, but he had clearly attempted to out maneuver him in the past. Based on how he speaks to Woody Harrelson's Beckett about having to answer for mistakes, my Star Wars addled brain can't help but wonder how Maul and Vos came to "lock horns". IF, see how I tried to make that a big if, IF Vos was trained as either a Mandalorian or by Cuy'val Dar he would have learned a technique called a Kov'nyn. Kov'nyn is Mandalorian for headbutt with your helmet on. Also known as a Keldab kiss, it proved very effective on several faces within the Star Wars comics. In my own head canon I imagine Vos trying to head butt Darth Maul, just to have him return the favor and give Dreyden a Keldab kiss off his own.
Vos may be a near-human, but we're not so sure the scarring is natural as he has a staple (cyber-staple?) at the top of his longest scar. Also, Vos is clearly supporting some similar life support tech similar to that of Darth Vader. Perhaps a nasty lighsaber injury? Maul has five horns on his head. Vos' face has ten scars, five on each side of his face. So, more of a Darth Maul European hello?
I don't know, maybe we'll get lucky and Marvel will give us a Crimson Dawn prequel comic. How do you think Dryden Vos' got those scars? (Let us know on Facebook)