Emilia Clarke opens up about her role as Qi'ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The prequel has been described as a mixture of Western and film noir elements, with the Game of Thrones star obviously filling the role of the femme fatale. She's an integral member of Han's inner circle when Solo begins, as the two characters grew up together surviving on the streets. Based on footage from the trailer, Qi'ra appears to be the one person who knows Han the best, seemingly unimpressed by the facade the scoundrel puts on to fit in with Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and the criminal underworld crowd.
Much like Rogue One, some of Solo's principal characters are people who are never even mentioned in the original trilogy, raising questions about their ultimate fates. Time will tell if all the new faces in Ron Howard's film will die like Jyn Erso and her team, but it seems likely Solo will detail why Han has closed himself off when we meet him in A New Hope.
While speaking with EW as part of their Solo coverage, Clarke offered some details about her character, referring to Qi'ra as an "enigma" who has an "impact" on shaping the personality of the Han we've known and loved for the last 40 years. The actress herself is well aware something had have transpired between two, teasing that it's likely a plot development in the movie:
Something must happened to affect him as a person, but for us fans not to know about her. Twists happen, and there is this great idea of trust — and who do you trust and how do you trust? And which side of the tracks are either character from — or going to?
Clarke's use of the word "trust" is intriguing. Some fans have speculated Qi'ra will essentially be Solo's Vesper Lynd; the love interest who betrays our hero and severely damages his outlook on life. The younger Han is a far more idealistic man than the colder cynic Luke and Obi-Wan encounter at Mos Eisley, so perhaps being stabbed in the back by someone he trusted caused a shift in Han's mindset. Of course, it's very possible Han and Qi'ra stay allies for the entire movie, and the circumstances of her theoretical death is what sets Han over the edge. Remember, in New Hope, he's not too keen on joining the Rebellion or getting close to the members of his charter. Han seemed content to just stick with Chewie prior to his change of heart.
Since the marketing campaign has only just begun, it's hard to predict how all the pieces of Solo will fit into place. That should change as more materials (namely, the inevitable full theatrical preview and multitude of TV spots) come out and shed more light on the various characters Han will interact with. Obviously, Lucasfilm won't spoil anything major during promotion, but hopefully we learn more about Qi'ra, Beckett, and the rest of the new ensemble soon.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019