Solo: A Star Wars Story, will give fans a glimpse into the history of the galaxy’s most notorious smuggler, Han Solo.
There will be other familiar faces in the standalone film — Han’s Wookiee companion and co-pilot Chewbacca, and frenemy Lando Calrissian — the owner of the Millennium Falcon.
But who are the new characters that make up Solo’s rogue gallery?
Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke returns to her natural brunette locks to play Qi’ra. She and Han have a shared history, both hailing from the planet Corellia.
Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that the pair grew up as “pals and partners in crime. There is obviously the romantic side of things. But they grew up together. So they were kids together.”
Clarke teased that something happened for her to disappear from his life. Qi’ra is being billed as the femme fatale, a film noir staple who is defined as an enigmatic, seductive woman that draws men into danger with troublesome consequences.
Qi’ra is also quite glamorous, and her wardrobe rivals that of another Star Wars fashionista — Padme Amidala.
Every thief learns the tricks of the trade from a master, and Tobias Beckett fills that role.
It’s not clear whether Woody Harrelson’s character is a good guy or a bad guy, but we do know that he’s a mentor to Han. Director Ron Howard says Tobias shapes Han more than anyone else. He’s also a pivotal character in the story, since the plot revolves around him recruiting a team of criminals to carry out a heist.
Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan says Tobias is based on Long John Silver from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, Treasure Island. Han seemingly fills the Jim Hawkins role — a young man taken under the wing of a wily, more experienced operator. But will Tobias turn on Han? If he’s inspired by Long John Silver, that definitely seems like a possibility. Because as we all know, there is no honor among thieves.
Played by Thandie Newton, Val is a member of Tobias’ gang, if not his partner in crime. She’s initially dubious about Han, and, according to Jon Kasdan, her relationship with Solo heads in an “interesting direction.”
Vali is also the first major woman of color in any of the franchise’s films, a distinction not lost on Newton.
She said, “I’m the first woman of color to have a prominent role in the Star Wars legacy. Lupita Nyong’o was a computer-generated character [Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi] but you didn’t get to see the colour of her skin. I’m the first.”
Another franchise first is the inclusion of a female droid named L3.
This strange-looking robot is a sidekick to Donald Glover’s Lando and his Millennium Falcon co-pilot. Played via motion capture by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, L3 apparently provides comic relief in the film.
The mysterious character wears a bladed battle helmet. Enfys Nest is a pirate and first featured in comic books in the old Expanded Universe. In the comics, Enfys led a gang known as the Cloud-Riders who rode swoop bikes and terrorized villagers. There is some speculation over whether the character is male or female, but it’s safe to say Enfys heads up a rival gang to Tobias Beckett’s in the film.
Both Enfys and Tobias are calculating and deadly, so it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.
This antagonist was originally played by Michael K Williams, but when the actor bowed out of reshoots due to scheduling conflicts, Paul Bettany stepped into the role of Dryden Vos. A crime lord, Dryden boasts facial scars, a bad temper, and red-tinged daggers. Red weapons always belong to bad guys. He shares a surname with prequel-era Jedi Quinlan Vos, could Dryden Vos be Force-sensitive?