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Star Wars: Who Is Willrow Hood - and Why Did He Get An Emoji?

Star Wars Willrow Hood feature

As part of the ongoing promotional campaign for The Rise of Skywalker, the Star Wars Twitter account has released custom emojis for 42 of the franchise's legendary characters.

Although fans will recognize most of them and have no trouble finding the corresponding hasthtag, newer or more casual fans might be surprised to encounter a strange hashtag, "#WillrowHood," which includes detailed picture of a mustached man in an orange jumpsuit holding a white object that looks suspiciously like an ice cream maker. Now, we'll be taking a closer look at the mysterious Willrow Hood, and why did this minor Star Wars character became notable enough to be immortalized as an emoji.

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Willrow Hood could be glimpsed for the first time in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, as he ran through Cloud City's corridors when Lando tried to evacuate them. The fact that he was holding an object that looked exactly like an ice-cream maker, as well as his clearly panicked expression that was clearly captured on film (unlike many of the other background extras),  turned him into a cult figure who many fans called "the Ice Cream Man."

His name wasn't revealed until 1997 in the Star Wars: Customizable Card Game and brought into canon in the Star Wars: Card Trader video game. Since then, he has appeared a couple of times in canon, always running away from an impending collapse or invasion. Like most Star Wars characters, he's also been immortalized as both a LEGO character and as an action figure.

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Chronologically, Willrow first pops in current canon in Star Wars #22 by Jason Aaron and Jorge Molina, aboard the Harbinger, an Imperial Star Destroyer being overrun by the Rebellion. The context of the story suggests that he was either one of the passengers or one of the technicians working for the Empire. After that, Hood went on to work as the person in charge of closing energy deals with the Rebellion in Cloud City and ensuring that they got the best possible price, and he was responsible for maintaining the database of Rebel clients in Bespin.

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When Darth Vader called in the troops to take control of Cloud City, and Lando sounded the alarm, Willrow Hood went to the command center, grabbed the camtono that contained the Rebel data, and escaped with it to keep it out of the Empire's hands.

If the word "camtono" rings a bell, it's because it appeared in the first episode of Disney+'s The Mandalorian. The word camtono simply means "lockbox." According to the Client, played by Werner Herzog, he has an entire camtono of beskar (sacred and nigh-invulnerable Mandalorian metal) for the Mandalorian after he delivers Baby Yoda to him. Back in June, Jon Favreau teased fans with a picture of the camtono on his Instagram account, raising the fan's hopes that the elusive Willrow would be one of the show's characters.

After two episodes of the Disney+ series, neither Willrow nor a camtono have appeared, but his inclusion as an emoji may be an indication of his forthcoming importance.

Even though he only made a brief appearance on-screen in Empire, the legend of Willrow has only grown since that film's premiere. He was a regular at the Paradise Atrium bat in the defunct mobile game Star Wars: Uprising. The Willrow Hood Ice-Cream Run has become a lasting event of Star Wars Celebration, where fans can celebrate their love for this blink-and-you-miss-him hero by recreating his two-seconds on-screen appearance.

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