Rebel, Smuggler, General, Captain. No matter how you choose to label him, Han Solo was arguably the true alpha male of the original trilogy (and maybe even of the entire franchise). Luke was too young, Obi Wan was too old, and Darth Vader was too...mechanical? Heck, why do you think Han was the only one with a legit romance arc in the trilogy (unless you count Luke and Yoda)? Han Solo was confident, brash, rugged, and just the right amount arrogant. With Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out this month, we don’t just get a look at how Han got started, but more importantly, some of the ladies he’s crossed paths with before he met Leia.
Although many of the details about the movie are being kept secret, we do know that Qi’ra has a significant part in the film. Played by none other than the Mother of Dragons herself, Qi’ra is a Correlian human female who grew up on the streets. She’s a survivor who eventually got involved with the Crimson Dawn gang under Dryden Vos, where she became one of the organization's top lieutenants.
Emilia Clarke describes the character as a someone who can hold her own. “Qi’ra’s journey is one of survival and strength. The way that I felt about her was yeah this girl has got a core of steel” Clark, shares with www.bleedingcool.com. In fact, she goes on to say that once you get to know Qi’ra, it won’t come as a surprise why Han falls for Leia eventually. Careful not to give away any hints regarding the story and her character’s actual relationship with Han, we’ll just have to wait for the movie to see just how close they really get. However, we do know that Qi’ra is the one who introduces Han Solo to Captain Lando Calrissian, captain of the Millenium Falcon.
Westworld’s Thandie Newton plays a mysterious character simply named Val. Based on the trailer, we do know that she’s a part of Solo’s crew, but not much else. A popular fan theory speculates that she’s actually Sana Starros, Han Solo’s “ex-wife”. Now before we all crucify Han as an adulterer, let’s try to dig deeper and put things in context. Starros was a human female from the Smuggler’s moon Nar Shaddaa. Like Solo, she’s also a smuggler. While Starros claims that she has proof that she and Han were married, he says that the marriage was merely part of a scam they were trying to pull off. This whole revelation was made in front of Leia when Starros tracked Han down to the Moddell Sector in the Outer Rim territories where Leia and Han were hiding from the Empire. Not wanting to lose Han again, Sana Starros gets wrapped up in Han and Leia’s adventures escaping the Empire. In one mission, Starros almost dies only to be saved by Leia. After which, she confesses that Han’s version of the story is true and that the only reason she came after Han was because he stole her share of the booty.
Although it is unlikely that we will see her in Han Solo: A Star Wars Movie, Leia Organa (who we all know is really Leia Amidala Skywalker) was a princess, a senator, and a rebel general, to name only a few, is still worth including in this list. She was the twin sister to the Last Jedi himself, Luke Skywalker, mother to the overly dramatic Kylo Ren, and of course the wife of the man of the hour, Han Solo. There’s already a lot we know about Leia so there’s no use going over all of them again here. However, it is important to know that in the book Aftermath: Empire’s End, which is now considered canon, we get some backstory on how Leia and Han were after Episode VI. As it turns out, Han was somewhat lost after their victory (blowing up the Death Star and partying with the Ewoks) in Return of the Jedi not knowing what he was supposed to do with his life. Leia was pregnant with Ben Solo and was busy handling the politics of restoring the Republic, Chewbacca went back home to look for his family, and Luke was trying to rebuild the Jedi Order. Experiencing a sort of identity crisis, coupled with the fact that Ben would eventually turn to the Dark Side, eventually took a toll on Han. He eventually went back to smuggling, the life he grew up with, which is where we find him (and Chewie) at the start of The Force Awakens.
Say what you will about Han Solo but he definitely lived an exciting life. As the smuggler with a heart of gold, he is the embodiment of the ultimate wanderer/adventurer in all of us. Masterfully portrayed by the legendary Harrison Ford in the original films, Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Alden Ehrenreich has some big shoes to fill.