Solo: A Star Wars Story remains an enigma in terms of where its future lies in the Star Wars franchise. There's clearly a dedicated section of the fandom that loved the movie and want to see more adventures with Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo, and there's even a Lando Calrissian series in development, possibly with Donald Glover set to lead. Despite that, there's been no official talk of a Solo sequel, though one has to wonder if there will be after Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra recently rejoined the universe.
Qi'ra, Han Solo's friend/former love interest who ended up working for Darth Maul's crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, has emerged in the new comic book series Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters. Qi'ra's appearance in the story was an intriguing twist, but what exactly could it mean for the chances of a Solo sequel happening?
What Qi'ra Is Doing In Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters
Qi'ra's return in Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters is surprising for a couple of reasons. In addition to the fact that few expected her to make an appearance, it has been revealed she's still around in the time between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Furthermore, she's in possession of a very important relic in the Star Wars universe: Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
Based on what's known so far, Qi'ra stole Han Solo from Boba Fett in order to deliver him to Jabba The Hutt. Hutt had originally enlisted Boba Fett to bring the body of Solo to him, and in past Boba Fett adventures expressed his displeasure that Fett delayed the delivery. He then put out a request for someone to take the body from Fett, and apparently, Qi'ra and the newly formed Crimson Dawn were successful.
Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters didn't just throw Qi'ra back into the Star Wars universe all willy nilly; they positioned her against one of the most powerful bounty hunters in the galaxy. There's potential to tell a great story here, but the question is whether there's a story to be told outside the confines of comics, and potentially in a sequel movie?
Why Qi'ra's Appearance Could Be Good For A Solo Sequel
Star Wars fans have heard absolutely nothing about a Solo: A Star Wars Story sequel, beyond the fact that Ron Howard has confirmed some time ago there were no plans such a project to happen. Despite that, there are dedicated fans that have continually pushed for a second movie to happen in that world. Maybe Qi'ra's role in Star Wars comics shows that Disney is listening and maybe even testing the waters.
After all, if Disney wanted Star Wars fans to forget Solo: A Star Wars Story altogether, they'd bury it and all its lore deeper than the Star Wars Holiday Special (which I personally believe still needs to see the light of day). Qi'ra's return, along with the idea that Donald Glover might be leading that Lando series, leads me to believe that Disney is invested in keeping the Solo franchise alive, and that hopes for a sequel aren't entirely dead.
As the old adage goes, money talks. If products tangential to Solo start to get a lot of attention or draw a lot of eyes, Disney is going to consider the possibility of a Solo sequel a lot more quickly. If nothing else, these repeated nods to Solo: A Star Wars Story shows that Star Wars is not ashamed of the story it told and will continually look for avenues to include it going forward. At least, that's one way of looking at it.
Why Qi'ra's Appearance Could Be Bad For A Solo Sequel
Optimism is always nice, but there's always another side of the coin to consider, and that's true with this Qi'ra nod in Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters. On the one hand, Disney could've signed off for Qi'ra to be used in a Disney story because fans are interested in the character. On the other hand, it could be because that while Disney acknowledges that, there are no real plans to do anything with the character going forward.
Let's look at the story itself. It takes place during a time in which Han Solo, the title character of Solo: A Star Wars Story, is indisposed. If we're looking for this story to set up a sequel, there's really not a lot there for a movie to build on. I highly doubt a Star Wars movie would tackle the era between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi like Star Wars comics has been doing as of late, especially given how revered the Original Trilogy is.
Granted, Star Wars comics are making changes left and right in this era, and even spiking in references to The High Republic and the Sequel Trilogy. Ultimately though, these are small changes that don't impact the casual watcher's view or understanding of the original movies. It's possible that Qi'ra's inclusion is another one of those small changes and, in the long run, won't be acknowledged in the film or television world.
Could Emilia Clarke Return To Play Qi'ra In A Star Wars Movie?
Actress Emilia Clarke recently talked about how happy she was to see Qi'ra's character continue her journey in Star Wars, which could be proof positive a Solo sequel is possible. At the same time, we've already spoken about the fact that a Solo sequel feels pretty slim at the moment. Plus, Clarke is set to take on a role within the MCU through Samuel L. Jackson's upcoming Secret Invasion series. Her plate is full for the time being, to the point that it doesn't seem likely she'd appear in a Star Wars movie anytime soon.
Of course, stranger things have happened in Hollywood, so who's to say Solo: A Star Wars Story won't get a sequel? We'll certainly be on the lookout for any indication that one could happen, as well as other exciting Star Wars news like the recent re-circulation of the news John Boyega would be open to re-joining the franchise.