For the longest time we had assumed that the main female role in Han Solo would in fact be Sana Starros, a character that may or may not have been married to Solo at one time.
Our biggest hint towards the role as Lucasfilm overwhelming seeking out women of color to test opposite star Alden Ehrenreich for the part.
When Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Terminator: Genisys) eventually won-out the role, it had a us a little perplexed as we had all assumed it would be Sana and Clarke playing the role would be totally bizarre.
Although, there is a character from the expanded universe, now deemed non-canon that could be recycled for the film. That being fellow pawn of the Hutt criminal empire and future heroine Bria Tharen, who shared a couple skirmishes with Han Solo along with being a brief love interest as well.
Born to a wealthy family on Corellia, Tharen intended to study archaeology and pursue a career as a museum curator. When she was seventeen, however, Tharen experienced the Exultation performed by a t’landa Til missionary at a religious revival. Drawn in by the Exultation’s effects, Tharen sold all her jewelry and booked passage to Ylesia, where she dedicated her life to the religion’s service. Tharen spent a year on Ylesia before her religion was exposed as a front for a Hutt spice/slaving operation by a young Corellian pilot named Han Solo. Solo helped Tharen to escape from Ylesia and the two fell in love. However, Tharen struggled to cope without the Exultation and decided to leave Solo to confront her addiction.
Tharen found a new purpose in life that helped her to eventually overcome her addiction. Joining the fledgling resistance movement, Tharen devoted herself to fighting against the Galactic Empire and bringing an end to slavery. Tharen worked on several undercover assignments and helped make contact with rebels on other worlds. After the founding of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Tharen was given command of Red Hand Squadron. She began planning a raid on Ylesia to end the slavery operation, recruiting a number of smuggler pilots to act as guides, including Han Solo, with the promise of a share of the Ylesian spice. Tharen and Solo briefly resumed their relationship, but when the Rebels betrayed the smugglers at the Battle of Ylesia, taking all of the spice, Tharen and Solo parted once more.
A character which some believe helped influence Rogue One‘s Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones.
But, Bria having more of a dark past than most characters we’ve seen as she has addiction issues and once was involved in the slave trade for the Hutts, before redeeming herself attempting to put an end to slavery and defeating the Empire. If Lucasfilm wants to tackle the dark underbelly of Han Solo’s world exploring the Hutts’ operations might be a worth doing.
I think it’s a character worth diving into, I’m still just disappointed Lucasfilm had to go with a white actress when they clearly were open to a woman of color in the role.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord will be writing/directing Han Solo, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as our titular hero, Donald Glover as Lando and now Emilia Clarke with production set to begin in the new year and it’s release date set for May 25th, 2018.
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