January 30th marks the first day of production for the as yet untitled #HanSolo spin-off movie. Director Chris Miller's announcement gave away very little about the movie, including the title (shown as Star Wars: Red Cup) in the photo or the roles of several key cast members. In fact, at the time of writing, only two actors have been confirmed for specific roles — Donald Glover and Alden Ehrenreich will be playing Lando Calrissian and Han Solo, respectively. Of the primary cast, this leaves both Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke's characters unnamed.
However, despite the hush hush regarding the film, #StarWars fans have been doing what they do best: wildly speculating. A few weeks ago, rumors were swirling that Woody Harrelson would be portraying Han's mentor from the Legends continuity, Garris Shrike. While the Lucasfilm Story Group quickly shot these rumors down, stating that while yes, Harrelson was playing a mentor-like figure, it would be a brand new character.
Less has been said about Emilia Clarke's character. However, as shown by Rogue One's willingness to merge with the wider canon, I'd say it's pretty likely that Clarke could be playing someone we've already seen in the Star Wars universe. In fact, there's one character in particular that she'd be perfect for:
Could Emilia Clarke Be Doctor Aphra?
Yes, the intergalactic archaeologist turned Darth Vader's right hand woman is, in my opinion, a perfect fit. Let's take a look at the details, shall we?
For one, Clarke shares a striking resemblance with the character, what with the dark flowing hair and whatnot. It's also been confirmed in the comic series that she and Han Solo have some kind of history by the time of A New Hope, meaning they must have had at least a few run-ins during the smuggler's early days. As far as continuity goes, Aphra fits into the story perfectly.
Outside the canon reasons for her inclusion, there have been several signs during the last few months that hint at Doctor Aphra becoming a much more prominent character in the Star Wars universe as the franchise develops.
For one, Doctor Aphra is currently starring in her own ongoing comic series, the first character to do so who hasn't yet appeared on screen. Not only is the series selling well and receiving stellar reviews, it's also made a start on reestablishing the ancient Star Wars lore, bringing in both old fans and the new. As a result, Aphra has been getting a lot of publicity recently since the end of her tenure as Darth Vader's sidekick.
But that's not all. Aphra is also a featured character in the latest Star Wars online mobile game, Force Arena, starring prominently in the trailers for the game leading up to release. It's obvious that Lucasfilm is trying to push the character into the limelight, potentially to set up her character before she appears on screen next year alongside everyone's favorite Nerfherder.
Of course, this is all still speculation. Lucasfilm might throw us a curveball and introduce a brand new character instead. Right now, all we know is the Han Solo movie is definitely happening, Emilia Clarke is definitely in it and Doctor Aphra's character is definitely building up to something big. Is it all connected? I guess we'll have to wait and see, though thankfully not as long as you'd think.
The untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story movie is due for a May 2018 release.
Watch the video below to answer an age-old question: