Han Solo’s reputation as a dashing roguish smuggler precedes him. But as Solo: A Star Wars Story will tell us, he didn’t always start out that way. In it, we will get to see the Han’s (Alden Ehrenreich) early days as a young upstart rising up the ranks of the criminal underworld. Like most thieves, they start out learning the tricks of the trade at a very young age. And most of the time, they aren’t alone.
In the film Emilia Clarke‘s Qi’ra, the mysterious femme fatale of the spinoff, has a bit of history with Han. One that goes as far back as their childhood. Below, we will learn a little bit more about Qi’ra, and how she will help shape Han to become the legendary smuggler that we all know and love.
EW has the exclusive interview with the Game of Thrones actress. In it, they describe Qi’ra as a woman of secrecy who doesn’t make her profile as public as some other smugglers in the galaxy. Though she is a woman of many identities, “the truest one’s hidden away and only visible to those she trusts, which may be no one.”
The character is described as the femme fatale of the spinoff, which has drawn some inspiration from film noir. Of Qi’ra and her connection to Han, Clarke said:
“There is a thing throughout the relationship you just canâ€™t put your finger on. And thatâ€™s Qiâ€™ra. Every time you think you have got her number you realize you havenâ€™t at all [laughs]. Which is really hard to play. The goal is that the shadow of Qiâ€™ra is there in Han as a character that we know. This girl is another texture that makes up who he is when we first meet him.”
While she could not elaborate on Qi’ra and Han’s history, she says that the two grew up together since childhood. They essentially became pals and partners in crime. And that would obviously lead up to some sort of romance:
“The beautiful thing about this Han Solo story is itâ€™s highlighting all of the most brilliant aspects of Han Solo the character and characterizing those aspects in characters that he meets on his journey to becoming who he is.”
She says that the crew members that Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) is assembling will be the ones to help shape Han’s character. “We are simply the embodiment of our experiences. Qiâ€™ra is one of those relationships that has an impact on him as a character,” Clarke said.
Though the two have had a relationship in the past, the trailers reveal that they have grown distant. While Han is still busy being a smuggler and a con artist, we see that Qi’ra has somewhat evolved into something else. Something more elegant with the beautiful capes and gowns that she wears. However, she reveals that there may be some battle scars underneath the glamorous attire.
But all of that will just help continue the tradition of seeing badass women in the Star Wars franchise. And she admits that she wouldn’t have taken the role if Qi’ra wasn’t a strong fearless woman:
“I think itâ€™s a very important narrative that we are telling all ages at all stages. And whilst it is Han Soloâ€™s movie, this girl gets to be badass. And strong. And has her own journey. Qiâ€™raâ€™s journey is definitely one of survival and strength. The way that I felt about her was yeah this girl has got a core of steel.”
The full interview at EW reveals more about how she and Han have been surviving up to the point where they first meet them, and how the themes of survival in the criminal underworld run by “smuggling, aloof gamblers, wrong-side-of-the-tracks nasty ones,” resonate in the film.
Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, also stars Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Paul Bettany. It opens in U.S. theaters on May 25, 2018.