How many people knew about Willrow Hood, let alone remember him from The Empire Strikes Back? He’s been labeled as the Ice Cream Guy thanks to the container that he’s seen carrying in the movie and that his character was manufactured with since it looks like a portable ice cream maker to so many people. Perhaps it comes from a background in construction and other labor-intensive work, but this thing looks more like a smaller version of a paint bucket. But a lot of people likely don’t know that it’s called a camtano, which is a specialized container to hold valuables. The device was featured once again in The Mandalorian season 1 when the Client paid Din in beskar for procuring his bounty. If anyone recognized it then kudos to them since they were likely on the lookout for as many Easter eggs as they could find. The short story below kind of fleshes out Willrow’s life a little better, giving him a bit of past that would better explain the character, but is still kind of odd in the way it was constructed since the idea of what happened to the woman in his life is kind of amusing really despite the tragedy of it.
For the most part, Willrow is just a regular citizen that happens to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time since he’s not a fighter and he’s not a soldier, but he at least shows a little heart in this story. Without getting too far ahead, it would appear that Willrow, who is shown to be in much better shape in the past, has a woman that he loves dearly, a Twi’lek, one of the many races of Star Wars that are well-known for their long lekku, head tails in other words. As she and Willrow discuss where they would want to live, they are seen to be in an area that appears to be a part arcade, part zoo since several creatures can be seen behind an invisible force screen that is keeping them from the civilians that are gazing in at them. Most notable are the wampa and the nexu that continually show themselves until somehow, a rancor is let loose in the area and goes on a rampage, tearing apart anyone and anything in its path. One individual attempts to stand in its path and take the monster down with a blaster but quickly finds that a rancor’s hide is a little too thick for such an attack. When Willrow attempts it the rancor eats the ice cream cone he’s holding instead of him, and then smells more that is being held by Willrow’s companion, who is promptly eaten since she has ice cream on her face and tastes sweet enough to eat apparently.
For such an obscure character, Willrow has been remembered for a long time. Somehow his appearance on The Empire Strikes Back was noticed by those that were likely seeking out anything that could be mentioned and anything that might get people to think that there’s a part of the movie that bears more looking into. It is interesting to learn that the device he was carrying wasn’t exactly an ice cream machine, even if it looked like one, and has managed to convince a lot of people that this was the function. But seeing it in The Mandalorian should have turned a few heads and change a few minds at this point since otherwise, it’s kind of a silly thing to think of in Star Wars, but not so far out that it couldn’t be included somehow and given a story of its own. For all intents and purposes, Willrow went and lived out the rest of his life, if he’s no longer around, within the galaxy on his own, since it’s likely that he escaped Cloud City along with many others and would have done his best to try to make a living elsewhere. There are a great many stories in Star Wars both mundane and great that we’ll likely never know, but thankfully there are also plenty of fans that are more than willing to tell them in some way that makes sense to them and can enlighten the rest of us.
Willrow wasn’t exactly the most exciting character since it sounds like he was kind of an average individual in the Star Wars if that, but it does feel that he was one of the many that did what he had to in order to get by and wasn’t truly heroic unless he saw the need to be. It’s too bad about his lady friend, or wife, whatever she was to him, but somehow the Ice Cream Guy managed to inspire enough people that his story just needed to be told finally.