Han Solo may have never seen anything to make him believe there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything, but could some of the strange stuff he’s seen flying from one side of this galaxy to the other have actually been a Jedi and he didn’t know it? That may be the case if a new Star Wars rumor is to believed.
MakingStarWars are reporting that one of the characters in the in-production Han Solo standalone movie is named Dryden Vos. That surname will mean an awful lot to Star Wars fans of a certain age – it appears to be a reference to famed Expanded Universe (and briefly movie) Jedi Master Quinlan Vos.
Does this news mean Quinlan is going to be featured in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s upcoming Star Wars Anthology film alongside Alden Ehrenreich as the galaxy’s greatest smuggler (well, greatest at talking himself out of a jam if we’re being honest)? Let’s take a look at the facts.
Who is Quinlan Vos?
Quinlan Vos was a fan-favorite Jedi during the prequel era, appearing in a stream of comics, books and – albeit briefly – movies. What made him such an iconic figure in Star Wars circles, however, was as much his behind-the-scenes creation as it was any of his actions in this stories. The character of Quinlan was actually based on a visually striking extra in The Phantom Menace seen in the background of Jar Jar and Sebulba’s scuffle on the streets of Mos Espa. His long black hair and painted yellow eyeband was so striking that writer/artist team John Ostrander and Jan Duursema lifted it for a Jedi character in their Republic comic book series. This was eventually brought full circle when he got an actual mention in Revenge of the Sith as Obi-Wan stated “Master Vos has moved his troops to Bos Pity.”
Quinlan was a prominent figure throughout the Republic run, which explored his life pre-Clone Wars and his later actions in the war where, instead of leading troops like his contemporaries, he went undercover as a Republic spy within the Confederacy. The culmination of this arc saw him falling in love with Khaleen Hentz, a Sepratist spy monitoring him; he successfully brought her over to the Republic and while evading Order 66 they had a child together, Korto Vos.
The character was explored much deeper in The Clone Wars, like most other canon Jedi appearing in several episodes of the six-season show that vastly expanded his importance. Beyond being an adept Force-wielder, Dave Filoni’s show further explored Quinlan’s emotions and relationship with the Jedi Code, marking him out as a highly unconventional Knight. His key arc had him and former Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress working together to assassinate Count Dooku, during which time the pair became romantically involved. Their attempt failed and Quinlan fell to the dark side in a failed attempt to discover Darth Sidious’ identity, only redeemed when Ventress sacrificed herself to save him. He was eventually reinstated in the order at the behest of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The Time Quinlan Vos Met Han Solo
In relation to Han Solo, what’s most interesting is a totally different, almost forgotten, story. In Star Wars Tales #11, an issue in the short comic compendium series that told a variety of weird and wonderful stories from across the timeline, Duursema penned Ghost, which showed a young Han Solo meeting Quinlan Vos while following a treasure map. The pair come under attack from bounty hunters searching for Vos and the Jedi gradually reveals his powers to stop them before Han learns the “treasure” was actually his glowing lightsaber. All in all, a neat little coda by Vos’ creator.
To excuse any clashing with Han’s skepticism of the Force in the original film Duursema used a mixture of stunned disbelief and implied Mind Trick, although it was explicitly non-canon even in the old Legends continuity. That said, it did establish how the young scoundrel would interact with a Jedi and – being one of the then-rare cases of a post-prequel Jedi Knight (it was published a decade before Rebels first aired) captured a lot of fans’ imaginations.
Will Quinlan Appear In Han Solo?
So, with Quinlan established, will he be in Han Solo? Well, what we can say with some certainty is that someone called Dryden Vos will indeed appear in the film. Jason Ward of MakingStarWars is fairly adamant of that and he has a pretty strong track-record when it comes to scoops, so there’s little reason to doubt him. The question then becomes whether Dryden is Quinlan or otherwise related; an assumed title like Obi-Wan becoming Ben or a love-child of him and Ventress (similar to Legends’ Korto Vos). His explicit appearance is certainly possible within the continuity; in Legends he managed to survive Order 66 and become a nomad, while the new canon hasn’t explored him beyond The Clone Wars.
What makes this whole thing so intriguing is that Vos appearing in live-action has been on the cards for over a decade. Lucas explicitly cut out a planned death scene from Revenge of the Sith and told Republic’s writers to do the same, suggesting the filmmaker has further plans for the character. Because he was then focusing so heavily on TV, it’s presumed that it would be as part of the written but unproduced Star Wars: Underworld series set between the prequel and original trilogies. And we know that elements of those stories and other threads established by Lucas in that time are being used in the future of the franchise; Rogue One started life as an episode pitch for Underworld and featured Saw Gerrera, a character introduced in The Clone Wars to explicitly be a precursor to the Rebellion.
The extent of the influence it’s actually having over filmmakers is – like much of the process at Lucasfilm – a closely guarded secret, but with Han, Lando and Chewie also all at one point set to appear in Underworld, it feels like – while Lucas is no longer involved in Star Wars’ future and the TV series was discarded – many of its threads are making their way out. With that in mind, one element lifted for Han Solo could have been Quinlan’s post-Order 66 adventures; the film is the best way to realize it in the short term (the only other options are Rogue One and Rebels, which already have their Force-sides covered).
It’s also worth noting the Tales influence. While they’re typically lesser-read than some of the bigger runs, they can still have an impact on the fanbase. It was in this series where Darth Maul and Obi-Wan first fought on Tatooine, setting fan expectations for the next decade before it was finally canonized in Rebels Season 3. It’s definitely possible Lord and Miller have chosen to lift an element from it – especially the method of avoid exposing Han to too much Force meddling lest it contradict the continuity.
That’s all supposition and assumes a major creative drive behind the movie, but, going more granular, if there is going to be a Jedi in Han Solo (something that isn’t necessary, but provides a strong linker to the wider mythos), then Quinlan Vos makes a lot of sense. Beyond it dramatizing pivotal moments in the character’s past and spanning six years, not much is known about the movie’s plot, so theorizing on how Visiting could work into the story is a bit moot. However, canonically he’s one of the most available Force users and his morally conflicted past is the ideal groundwork for one such character who can play a part in young Han’s life without making him believe in the Force. With that in mind, Dryden being Quinlan’s son and thus an untrained Force sensitive (a possibility lifted from Legends) would also fit very well.
It’s of course possible that Dryden’s surname is just a coincidence, but given Star Wars’ tight lock on canon (and that, chronologically, it was uttered onscreen in the previous movie) there’s sure to be something more, even if – like Saw Gerrera’s Clone Wars past – it’s mostly implied for the benefit of die-hard fans rather than a core part of the plot.