5 Details 'Star Wars' Fans Should Know About Emilia Clarke's 'Solo' Character

by Ani Bundel

Solo: A Star Wars Story is arriving in theaters in less than a week. This will be the second Star Wars movie starring all new characters in a six-month time span, and the thrill of learning about new people who inhabit the galaxy far, far away is always a big one for fans. But where some of these characters are familiar (Han, Chewie, Lando) some are complete unknowns. One of the biggest mysteries is Emilia Clarke's character, named Qi'ra. Who is Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story? And how is she related to Han Solo?

Qi'ra has stood out for the odd spelling of her name, but there's a reason for it. It's actually based on George Lucas' own works. Drafts of both Episode VII and Solo were originally first written before the Lucasfilm buyout by Disney, and in Lucas' version of what became The Force Awakens, the female protagonist was named Kira. In the Disney penned version, they eventually renamed her Rey.

Using a variation on the original name Lucas wanted is a small homage to the man who created Star Wars, that his Kira (or Qi'ra) character eventually made it on screen.

So what exactly do fans know about her character heading into the film? Here's a run-down of her biography so far.

Qi'ra Grew Up On Corellia

The first detail known for sure about Qi'ra is that she grew up on Corellia, same as Han did. The two of them were friends during their time living there, and perhaps might have been something more, or wanted to.

From the shots from the trailer, they were small time petty criminals who spent their days running from the Imperial occupying forces.

She Was Enmeshed in Gang Activity From a Young Age

Exactly how Qi'ra escapes Cordella has not been revealed pre-film release, but as her Wookieepedia biography makes clear, it must have been a desperate gamble to get out. She was a street urchin, either orphaned, abandoned, or ignored by her parents. From a very young age, gang life was family life for her, and by the age of 18, when she began working to escape, it was the only way of life she'd really known.

Qi'ra Joined The Crimson Dawn Gang

They say you can take a person out of their circumstance, but you can't take the circumstances out of a person. Gang life was what Qi'ra knew.

So despite managing to escape from her home planet, when she went to build a brand new life, Qi'ra wound up, as part of a gang – a bigger, far more well-heeled gang, to be sure, but a gang none the less, working for criminal mastermind Dryden Vos.

She is Dryden Vos' Top Lieutenant

One of the reasons people go back to what they've grown up around: It's what they know, and what they are good at. Qi'ra is very good at being part of a gang, and as someone who has been privy to how they work since a young age, she rose through the ranks quickly.

By the time Han catches up with her, years after her escape, he discovers she's second in command of Vos' gang.

Qi'ra Introduced Han Solo To Lando Calrissian

In perhaps one of the more interesting twists of fate revealed in the trailers for Solo it's Qi'ra who is responsible for Han and Lando meeting each other in the first place.

From the clip, it's suggested that Vos needs a pilot and a ship. Han is selling himself as a pilot, but he's screwed in terms of a fast ship. Qi'ra knows someone who can fill both bills, leading Han to the card table where Lando rules supreme. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on Friday, May 25, 2018, in theaters everywhere.