THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS TOTAL SPOILERS FOR SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. READERS’ DISCRETION ADVISED.
Now that disclaimer is out of the way, let’s talk about the wealth of possibilities Solo: A Star Wars Story unlocks for the franchise going forward. Here’s some things I’d love to see happen in future installments.
1. Waller-Bridge’s L3-37 is The Millennium Falcon
I’m going to be honest. I’m fuming that L3-37 was killed off. And while ‘part of her lives on’ as the Millennium Falcon‘s navigation computer, it felt particularly dehumanizing/tasteless that she was stripped for parts post-mortem. Even if it was to save everyone. It’s even worse when you realize that she was fridged. She shared this lazily written fate with Thandie Newton‘s character Val.
However, now that she’s a part of the Falcon, it would be a terrible loss of potential if Phoebe Waller-Bridge didn’t reprise the role in Star Wars: Episode IX.
In terms of justification, all that would need to happen is for Rey or Rose (the engineers of the group) to install a translation thingy into the ship’s interface. Or a switch gets flipped. Or Chewbacca mentions L3-37’s existence and Rey gets curious and investigates it.
There are so many possibilities, and it would require minimum exposition, no more than a line or two. It could even happen in the time between The Last Jedi and Episode IX. Frankly, if there was no exposition, I would be fine with that too.
Having a sentient ship has president in science fiction, but perhaps none do it better (or more in style with what this hypothetical could look like) than the AIs in the Halo franchise, or Lucy in Killjoys. Following those two examples, this film even managed to sneak in a hinted-at romance between L3-37 and Lando (played by the incredibly suave Donald Glover).
Han (played by Alden Ehrenreich) taking the Falcon from Lando at the end of the is a SUPER shitty move in retrospect. It was supposed to land as a triumphant moment, but for me, it outweighs any potential betrayal that happened in Cloud City (That’s a whole different article.).
Denying Millennium Falcon the sentient mind of L3-37 after her game changing turn in this film would be a big mistake.
2. Ahsoka Tano vs Maul
This one is a little less plausible, but very intriguing. With both Ray Park (live action Maul) and Sam Witwer (Maul’s voice) reprising their role in this film, I can’t help but look to the future potential of this partnership. Maul’s inclusion in this film, and knowing how he ends, there are roughly 10 years to play with this dynamic. As of the end of the Star Wars Rebels Finale, we also know that Ahsoka Tano outlives both Maul and Darth Vader. Maul and Ahsoka have met in battle before this film takes place.
At the conclusion of the Clone Wars and on the day of Order 66, Ahsoka was leading a millitary campaign to oust the usurper of Mandalore: Maul, “formerly Darth”. During their clash, Ahsoka had Maul dead to rights, but with Order 66 going into effect, Ahsoka elected to save the life of her friend Captain Rex; sacrificing the scant seconds she needed to end Maul for good.
In the Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Finale, we see Maul and Ahsoka square off again. He calls her ‘Lady Tano’, which to me, is indicative of a rivalry of sorts not dissimilar to the rivalry between him and Obi-Wan (though less revenge driven). Kind of like a “kill you later!” relationship.
We could even see Darth Vader and Maul have a confrontation. In the Star Wars Rebels Season 2 finale, Maul was petrified of Darth Vader. Maul is a man who doesn’t scare easily. Wouldn’t you like to see the reason why he’s so afraid?
Going into this film I was nervous about how they’d treat this character. I feared she’d be a poorly the written, typical love interest (like the women of Baby Driver) of most films. Turns out, I needn’t have worried about it much. Qi’ra (played by Emilia Clarke) is instantly one of the most formidable non-force users in the Star Wars canon owing to her proficiency in Teräs Käsi. In The Last Jedi, Snoke’s Praetorian Guards nearly killed Kylo Ren and Rey using this martial art. It’s basically the Krav Maga of Star Wars. Teräs Käsi was designed to kill Jedi.
However, more interestingly, Darth Maul was notably trained in this as well. Technically that was in Legends (pre-Disney Star Wars Canon), but now that it’s being highlighted, I’m going to assume that Canon Maul is versed in this fighting technique as well. This film didn’t specifically say it, but I’m pretty sure Dryden Vos (played by Paul Bettany) learned it from Maul.Which makes Qi’ra’s ability to use this fighting ability potentially problematic for Maul’s adversaries. Teräs Käsi is also one of several inclusions from Star Wars Legends that made their ‘canon’ debut in this film, and Qi’ra was more than worthy character for this showcase. Between Qi’ra and her Teräs Käsi and Enfys Nest’s prodigious skills with her deadly scepter, we’ve got a new generation of heavy hitters.
4. Enfys Nest
If there was a legal photo of her in-film without her helmet I’d use it.For once, the masked figure who outclasses everybody in combat is on the good side. Enfys Nest (played by Erin Kellyman) was one of my favorite parts of this film. I didn’t see her coming. A badass warrior who carries a blaster-deflecting shield and lightsaber comparable cutting staff into battle is always a win. You build up this baddie as capable enough to outsmart and outmaneuver a cutthroat survivor like Beckett (played by Woody Harrelson) and his crew on multiple occasions (resulting in the death of his original two compatriots) and you’ve got a hell of a character.
Beckett and his people feared the Crimson Dawn. The Crimson Dawn hunt down those who trifle with them. They were built up as the people not to cross. Beckett fears them even more than the Empire, he says so to Han after Enfys and her Cloud Riders thwart the train heist.
Enfys Nest has been running rings around Crimson Dawn for a long while. She personally oversaw the defeat of Dryden Vos’ Guard, and she took out most of them herself. Later, when Vos is repremanding Beckett over the loss of the hyperfuel shipment, he speaks of Enfys as an inevitability rather than a beatable opponent. It reminded me of how people spoke of Darth Vader in the old trilogy.
In addition to Enfys’ martial skill surpassing anybody else in this movie, she’s two steps ahead of everybody as well. Enfys followed Beckett, Han, and Chewbacca (played by Joonas Suotamo ) to Lando. She discovered their Kessel Run plan. She tagged the Millennium Falcon with a beacon. And when the crew landed to refine the hyperfuel, she was there. She completely dictated the terms of the final act of the film, and convinced Han and Qi’ra to take the moral high ground at great personal risk.
Revealing that this legend is a teenage girl was genius. It was a genuinely surprising moment. Like, sure, Enfys could’v been a woman. That was always (theoretically) a 50/50 chance. The surprise is her age. In a way, it lends credence to Cassian’s line in Rogue One: “I’ve been in this fight since I was six years old!”. Enfys is another child soldier made by the conflict in the galaxy. Another connection to Rogue One: one of Enfys Nest’s lieutenants becomes the right hand of Saw Guerra.
Going forward, she’s young enough to be Leia’s age in Episode IX. But beyond that, she’s a strong enough character here to merit her own spinoff. A spinoff which could easily include Ahsoka Tano, the Rebel Alliance (including the cast of Star Wars Rebels) Maul, Boba Fett, and Qi’ra; not to mention Han and Chewbacca as well. Though in my opinion, it doesn’t need to feature any of these characters.
Enfys Nest’s showing in this film establishes her as a character very much capable of carrying her own film without the need for glorified cameos from anybody we’re familiar with already.
The reveal that she’s part of fledgling Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic, is laden with potential. Not for nothing, Enfys’ ideology changes the trajectory of the entire film in the final act.
She’s an important character to watch out for, and I hope the minds behind Star Wars capitalize on Enfys Nest’s potential for an all-time great Star Wars character.
I really liked this film. I’ve only seen it once (so far), but there’s a lot more to glean from it. I’m one of the people who actually really enjoyed The Last Jedi. And I was cautiously optimistic about this film going in. But I worried for nothing…mostly. The things I loved in this film eclipse the problems I had with it. Even if I don’t think the writers always handled everything perfectly. Perhaps Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover should be in the writing room next time? Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve and Glover’s Atlanta are some of the more insightful and refreshing stories on television right now. Imagine the possibilities.
Going forward, I’ve only talked about a few things that this movie makes possible. But that’s what I love most about this franchise. There are always more Star Wars stories to tell. The matter at hand is giving the ones that need telling the gift of the spotlight.