Solo: A Star Wars Story falls short with Qi’ra’s character


Solo: A Star Wars Story had a tremendous opportunity with the character of Qi’ra, but unfortunately, they failed to capitalize on that opportunity. SPOILERS AHEAD!

I have talked a lot about how happy I am that the Star Wars universe has been gaining more and more powerful female characters as the franchise continues to develop. I had especially high hopes for one of the galaxies’ newest additions from Solo: A Star Wars Story, Qi’ra.

I was excited about her character because I thought she had the potential to be one of the most complex and intriguing female characters yet. However, I was somewhat disappointed.

Let me be clear, my disappointment had nothing to do with the casting of the character. Emilia Clarke delivered a beautiful, flawless performance. In fact, her performance was a redeeming factor for this character. Unfortunately, it was the writing for Qi’ra that led to the character being tragically underdeveloped.

At the start of the film, the audience is given a brief glimpse into the relationship between Han and Qi’ra. They’re young, desperate to get off Corellia, and obviously very in love with one another. Unfortunately, their plans to escape are foiled and Qi’ra is captured.

Photo Credit: [Solo: A Star Wars Story] LucasfilmQi’ra’s love for Han is obvious when she urges him to leave her behind so that he can escape. Being left behind for her will mean death or imprisonment because the two have found themselves in too deep with the wrong people, but she loves him enough to make that sacrifice. Han leaves, but only after promising her he will come back and free her.

This scene is powerful, and it really drew me in. After seeing their love for each other, I was sure that whatever unfolded between them throughout this movie would be impactful and would explain a lot about Han’s cynicism and guardedness in the Original Trilogy. This is where I was disappointed.

When Qi’ra’s character reemerges three years after this opening scene with Han, she has become embroiled in a life of crime, rising to the rank of second-in-command in Dryden Vos’ crime syndicate. Obviously, much has happened in this interlude and as Qi’ra herself suggests, she isn’t proud of it. Regrettably, that’s as far as she gets developed.

At the very end of the film, Qi’ra kills Dryden Vos and betrays Han Solo, as I suspected she might. After killing him, she takes Voss’ ship and heads to Dathomir to meet Darth Maul (OMG!!! That cameo!!! I legitimately shrieked in the movie theater) and, supposedly, continue running Vos’ operation in his stead.

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Instead of feeling the sting of her betrayal of Han, I was left wondering how in the hell she shifted from a woman who loved him so much she was willing to die for him, to a point where she chooses to betray him without batting an eye.

Something obviously happened during those three years they spent apart that changed her. There are hints and suggestions about the darkness she’s experienced, but it is never explained, never explored in the slightest.

These suggestions, the mystery surrounding her life, and her crime-ridden past, all could have come together in such a powerful way that made her both sympathetic and deplorable at the same time.

I love when characters are so complex but so human that you cannot decide whether you think that they are a villain or not. Instead, I was left wondering why the writers chose to barely scratch the surface of this character with so much potential.

The only thing that would abate my disappointment would be if the Solo saga continued. This is entirely possible considering the film was open-ended. If she were to be developed, if they were to provide answers to these questions about her character, I have a feeling she would quickly become one of my favorite Star Wars characters, especially because Emilia Clarke’s portrayal is so charming and likable!

Next: Solo is a roaring good time!

So, here’s to hoping we see more of Qi’ra and learn significantly more about her sordid past! What did you all think of the film? What did you think about Qi’ra’s character? Let us know in the comments below!

Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently playing in theaters, worldwide.

Learn how to purchase tickets for Solo here.