What Solo: A Star Wars Story Is Actually About, According To Sam Witwer

Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story

Unlike Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opted to primarily follow brand-new characters, Solo: A Star Wars Story's delved into the backstory behind one of this mythology's most popular characters. That being said, aside from Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian , all of Solo's main players were also new additions to a galaxy far, far away, include Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra. Although she and Han were once lovers, Qi'ra's time with the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate changed her, and in the end, she left Han so he wouldn't accompany her on her rise through the underworld. As Sam Witwer, who voiced Darth Maul in Solo, sees it, Qi'ra's efforts to keep Han uncorrupted is what the movie as a whole is actually about. The actor explained to CinemaBlend:

It doesn't occur to you the first time, but the second time you see the movie, that movie is really about Qi'ra trying to save Han Solo's soul, because she knows he's gonna follow her all the way to hell if he has the chance, so she has to break his heart. She has to keep him away from the darkest elements of the universe. She has to keep him firmly out of hell and ascending, which his trajectory as a character is to ascend, and she knows that. But that ascendant quality that Han Solo has, that good guy quality could be corrupted and used in the opposite direction, because she knows where she's going and she knows he doesn't belong there. So if you want to really illustrate that, and you need to keep that criminal, dark side element in the background and keep it mysterious, then yes, it's a smart move to use something that George Lucas had already established elsewhere and suddenly introduce that in there.

Having taken his first steps as a bonafide outlaw in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the next decade or so will see Han and his new buddy Chewbacca smuggling and getting into trouble with the Empire. However, Star Wars fans know that he's destined to become a hero, and that's something that Qi'ra saw in him. She, on the other hand, is intent on climbing through Crimson Dawn's ranks, as evidenced by her contacting Darth Maul after killing Dryden Vos and placing blame squarely on Tobias Beckett for the coaxium being stolen. In the end, Qi'ra decided to leave Han behind rather than stay with him, but it was for his protection. So Sam Witwer made an interesting point when I interviewed him ahead of Solo's home media release. During the first viewing, Qi'ra's deeper intentions aren't clear cut, but upon re-watching, you can see how Qi'ra is ultimately steering Han away from the direction she's heading. It sadly means that they'll never be together, but if it also results in Qi'ra saving Han's soul, then it was the right call.

While Solo: A Star Wars Story made it clear that Qi'ra had been hanging out with a bad crowd over the last several years, her descent into darkness into darkness was cemented when Darth Maul appeared as a hologram, with Sam Witwer reprising vocal duties on Maul and Ray Park returning to physically portray the tattooed Zabrak nearly 20 years after his debut in The Phantom Menace. Given Solo's poor box office run, it seems unlikely that we'll see Qi'ra's time with Maul on Dathomir explored in a sequel, but since Lucasfilm churns out new Star Wars novels and comic books regularly, here's hoping someday we learn what happened to Qi'ra after the movie in a different medium.

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives on Digital HD this Friday, September 14, and the Blu-ray and DVD copies hit shelves on September 25. As for what other Star Wars movies are on the way, consult our handy guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.