Solo: A Star Wars Story is a prequel about one of the saga’s most beloved heroes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any new characters to offer. Indeed, outside of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Chewbacca, the film seems to be mainly populated by protagonists and antagonists we’ve never met before.
Information about these characters was top secret for a long time. But now, we’re beginning to learn more about them. We’re also learning more about how Han Solo and Lando Calrissian will be a lot different in this movie than they were in the original trilogy.
Here’s a look at everything we now know about the new and returning characters of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
L3-37 is self-modified droid with no owner who works with Lando
The new Star Wars movies have already contributed two iconic droids to the canon: BB-8 and K-2SO. Now, a new droid is ready to steal our hearts. In Solo, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) plays L3-37.
According to Entertainment Weekly, L3-37 has continuously modified herself over the years using various parts of other droids. She has no owner, though she’s described as being Lando Calrissian’s partner. Lando and L3-37 have had a working relationship for years; they look to be quite in sync, as in the trailer, L3-37 even does Lando’s iconic hand gesture.
Like BB-8, K-2SO, and C-3PO, L3-37 will provide comic relief. She’s also the first main droid in the saga to be female, although there have been less significant female droids before like TC-14 and FLO.
Next: This is who Emilia Clarke will be playing in the movie.
Qi’ra is someone Han grew up with who helps shape who he is
Next up is Qi’ra, played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke. The Solo crew is still being a bit vague about her. But Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that Qi’ra is someone who grew up with Han as a partner in crime; they’ve known one another since they were kids. Alden Ehrenreich himself added that Qi’ra is “better at working the system rather than bucking against it.”
Clarke also said that Qi’ra is a femme fatale character who is difficult to pin down because she “has a couple of guises.” Though Clarke didn’t want to give anything away, she sure made it sound like Qi’ra betrays Han at some point; she said that after watching the movie, we’ll understand why Qi’ra isn’t in the original trilogy, adding that the film focuses on the theme of who you should trust.
So is Qi’ra a love interest? She and Han obviously don’t end up together, but Clarke did say that “there is obviously the romantic side of things.”
Next: Woody Harrelson plays this new character who changes Han Solo for the better.
Tobias Beckett is Han Solo’s mentor, a tough criminal with humanity
Woody Harrelson plays Tobias Beckett, a mentor to Han Solo. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan compared the relationship between Han and Beckett to the relationship between Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island.
Beckett is a tough criminal, but he has some humanity to him. He’s powerful, but he’s a free agent. And like Qi’ra, Beckett ends up influencing Han, making him realize that he needs to come to terms with some kind of a moral code.
Finally, Lawrence Kasdan noted than Han forces himself into Beckett’s life, and Beckett chooses not to kill him.
Next: Thandie Newton’s character is fairly mysterious, but we have now learned a bit more about her.
Val is Beckett’s partner and is skeptical of Han Solo
Thandie Newton (Westworld) plays Val, Tobias Beckett’s partner. According to Entertainment Weekly, she’s been working with Beckett for quite some time, and he’s part of the criminal family that Han gets wrapped up in.
In addition, Jon Kasdan says that Val is pretty skeptical of Han Solo when she first meets him. But from there, their relationship “goes in, I think, an … interesting direction.”
That’s about all we know about Val, who thus far is the most mysterious of the new characters.
Next: This character appears to be the main villain of the movie.
Dryden Vos is a crime boss with class and swagger
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity War) plays Dryden Vos, who appears to be the film’s main villain. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the Solo screenwriters described Dryden as a crime boss who, like Jabba the Hutt, doesn’t get his hands dirty.
Jon Kasdan also said that Dryden has a combination of “class and swagger and real danger.” He added that Dryden and Beckett are both immersed in the criminal underworld; it’s just that Dryden is in much deeper.
Next: Why Donald Glover says Lando contrasts with Han in the movie.
Young Lando Calrissian is someone who likes rules, as opposed to Han
We already know Lando Calrissian from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. But what’s he like in this movie, which takes place over a decade earlier?
Donald Glover described this Lando to Entertainment Weekly as someone who likes rules because he’s in a position to benefit from those rules. This contrasts with Han, who’s more of a rule breaker. At the same time, Lando also knows how to get away with things using loopholes.
In addition, Glover said that Lando is a bit less put together in this movie than in Empire. After all, Lando is still struggling here; by the time he owns a city in Empire, he doesn’t need to prove himself as much.
Next: How Han Solo is so much different in this movie than in the original trilogy.
Young Han Solo is more of an idealist
Finally, where is young Han Solo when we meet him in this movie? Alden Ehrenreich told Entertainment Weekly that in Solo, Han is more of an idealist. He dreams of being independent and of calling his own shots.
Director Ron Howard also revealed that Harrison Ford helped advise him and Ehrenreich, sharing insights about who Han is. One insight was the fact that Han is someone who is constantly yearning for connection with people and at the same time struggling with this need. Ford also said that one of the great things about Han is that he always has the appearance of being in control but is often scrambling.
So although you may not think that Ehrenreich looks or sounds that much like Han Solo, it’s clear that both he and director Ron Howard went to great lengths to ensure that he feels like the character we know and love.
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