Entertainment Weekly got a chance to shed some new light on one of the main new characters we’ll meet in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” as they have an interview with Emilia Clarke talking about her character Qi’Ra.
You can check out a portion of the interview below, where Emilia Clarke talks about Qi’Ra’s relationship to Han Solo, the mystery surrounding the character, and now joining “Star Wars” great tradition of strong woman characters:
Entertainment Weekly: She and Han Solo go back to their childhoods, so can you characterize the setup of their relationship?
Emilia Clarke: Well, they grew up as comrades, essentially. They grew up as pals, as partners in crime. There is obviously the romantic side of things. But they grew up together. So they were kids together. And the beautiful thing about this Han Solo story is it’s highlighting all of the most brilliant aspects of Han Solo the character and characterizing those aspects in characters that he meets on his journey to becoming who he is.
Entertainment Weekly: The filmmakers described her as a femme fatale in this movie that is partly a film noir.
Emilia Clarke: It is. Mystery. There is a thing throughout the relationship you just can’t put your finger on. And that’s Qi’ra. Every time you think you have got her number you realize you haven’t at all. [Laughs] Which is really hard to play. The goal is that the shadow of Qi’ra is there in Han as a character that we know. This girl is another texture that makes up who he is when we first meet him.
Entertainment Weekly: What is Qi’ra doing when we first encounter her? From the trailer, they are in a speeder trying to escape some stormtroopers.
Emilia Clarke: The point where you meet her, she is with Han. They are both doing what they’ve got to do to survive. And that is Qi’ra the whole the movie. The whole way through, she is surviving. And surviving in the underworld that we know to be [filled with] smuggling, aloof gamblers, wrong-side-of-the-tracks nasty ones. It was beautiful they touched on it very briefly [in The Last Jedi] when they are at the racetracks. Do you remember and they were talking about what that world is?
Entertainment Weekly: On Canto Bight, where they were talking about the ugliness behind the money and power?
Emilia Clarke: And that’s our world. I mean it’s not the racetracks, and not Canto Bight. But we have the main storyline talk about what the smuggling, gambling black market world is like. It’s dangerous and it’s sordid and it’s ugly, and it’s really, really dark. There are loads of different gangster-y elements running through it. It has been really fun to put Qi’ra in that. She has a couple of guises, but essentially she is just fighting to stay alive.
Entertainment Weekly: We’re seeing a lot of strong women in the Star Wars movies now, with Rey, Jyn Erso, Rose, Phasma, Ahsoka, Padme, Holdo, and others now standing alongside Leia. Does Qi’ra fit into that tradition of strong warrior women?
Emilia Clarke: Oh hella yeah. [Laughs] I am never going to take a job that doesn’t tell that story, because I think it’s a very important narrative that we are telling all ages at all stages. And whilst it is Han Solo’s movie, this girl gets to be badass. And strong. And has her own journey. Qi’ra’s journey is definitely one of survival and strength. The way that I felt about her was yeah this girl has got a core of steel.
So far I’m really intrigued with the character of Qi’Ra and how her relationship with Han goes back a long a way, and how maybe that relationship might shape the development of a new friendship Han will make with a certain Wookiee in the film.
Be sure to check out the full interview over at Entertainment Weekly.