There’s certainly no shortage of iconic characters to be found in the Star Wars universe. Whether they originated in the films, books, video games, or other forms of expanded universe media, there are all kinds of interesting and unique characters.
Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpetine, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt — these are just a few examples of classic fan-favorite characters from the original trilogy of films.
Ever since Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise back in 2012 and started releasing new films on a fairly consistent schedule, Star Wars fans have been introduced to a wide variety of brand new characters.
Characters like Rey, Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke, BB-8, Finn, and Poe Dameron have been captivating the imagination of series fans ever since The Force Awakens was released in 2015.
With the latest release (Solo: A Star Wars Story), fans were introduced to yet another brand new character -- Qi’ra.
Played by Emilia Clarke (better known for her role as Queen Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game of Thrones), it became immediately apparent that Qi’ra would play an extremely important role in the Star Wars franchise. As a matter of fact, it’s not at all a stretch to say that without Qi’ra, Han Solo would never develop into the cocky, sarcastic smuggler that we all know and love.
We are first introduced to Qi’ra as Han Solo’s love interest on the planet Corellia. She’s a young thief with dreams of escaping her life in the slums on Corellia. Qi’ra and Solo are on the run from a criminal gang, with plans to bribe their way off the planet by using coaxium, a valuable fuel source.
Unfortunately, things don’t go quite according to plan and Qi’ra is captured by the gang while saving Han. She encourages Han to continue his escape though, and he swears that he will one day return for her.
Many years pass before Qi’ra and Han are finally reunited. Each of them end up going through their own unique, and life-changing experiences during this time.
Qi’ra ends up joining a crime syndicate known as the Crimson Dawn. Thanks to her skills and experience as a thief, it doesn’t take her long to rise through their ranks. Dryden Vos, the leader of the Crimson Dawn, eventually appoints Qi’ra as his most trusted lieutenant.
Circumstances end up reuniting Han and Qi’ra after three years apart when Han Solo ends up seeking an audience with Vos. A coaxium heist that Han had planned went sideways, and when Han went to explain the heist failure to Vos, he was finally reunited with Qi’ra.
Vos approves a new plan for Han and his associates to steal unrefined coaxium from a mining colony on the planet Kessel, under the condition that Qi’ra, his most trusted lieutenant, accompany them on the mission.
Qi’ra introduces the team to Lando Calrissian, who joins the mission, along with his ship — the Millennium Falcon.
The mission to steal the coaxium is a success, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Qi’ra, and our heroes make their escape aboard the Falcon. However, during the mission, both Qi’ra and Han Solo end up becoming sympathetic to the Rebel Alliance and their cause.
The two of them attempt to double-cross Vos, but he’s already aware of their plan. At the last moment, Qi’ra manages to trick Vos by making him believe she would kill Han Solo in order to prove her loyalty. Instead, she kills Vos, and then sends Han after his former associate, Tobias Beckett.
Once Han heads off to hunt for Beckett, Qi’ra then contacts Maul (yes, that Maul — he is Vos’ superior in the Crimson Dawn). Qi’ra blames the failure of the Crimson Dawn solely on Tobias Beckett, never once mentioning anything about Han. The last we see of Qi’ra is Maul ordering her to meet him on the planet Dathomir.
As you can see, for a character who only appeared in a single Star Wars film, Qi’ra played quite an important role in shaping the future of the series.
Thanks to her, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian were introduced, which eventually leads to Han and Chewbacca having ownership of the Millennium Falcon and all of the events that unfolded in the original trilogy.
While the fate of Qi’ra after Solo: A Star Wars Story is unknown, we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see her pop up again sometime soon.