Remember that new Star Wars movie that came out this year? Just like every Star Wars movie since 1977, Solo: A Star Wars Story is getting a novelization. There have been some interesting things to come out of it, too.
There is the troubling, date-rapey details of L3 getting forced into the Falcon computer. While the detail added by the novelization makes the L3 twist even worse, the book does add an interesting layer to the cameo at the end.
***Warning: There will be SPOILERS for Solo beyond this point if you have not seen it yet.***
During the climax of Solo, Qi’ra makes contact with Crimson Dawn, who is revealed to be none other than former Sith-Lord Maul.
In an interview with StarWars.com, Solo author Mur Lafferty reveals that Qi’ra has no idea who Maul is:
In the final version, Lafferty’s novelization does describe the Force-wielding Zabrak — “another thing that I added almost entirely after I saw it,” she says. “It wasn’t until I saw it the second time that I realized he Force-pulled his lightsaber to him. It wasn’t on him, he pulls it in. Which is even scarier!”
But she made the conscious decision not to include his name because, she reasoned, Qi’ra wouldn’t have known him on sight. “I don’t think she would have known who he was,” Lafferty says. “They sort of implied that Dryden was beholden to someone a lot more powerful than he was. And so she knew that whoever it was scared him, but she didn’t know that the guy used to be a Sith Lord. She didn’t know who he was. She just knew that that button would call Dryden Vos’ boss.”
If you can get out of the “audience” mindset and put yourself in the universe – it makes sense. It explains why Qi’ra doesn’t freak out (like the audience) when she sees him. We know who Maul is of course, but by the time the original trilogy happens (Solo is about 10 years before A New Hope), the Jedi and the Sith are urban legends. Even people who see Darth Vader everyday on the Death Star think that the Force is “an ancient religion.”
There is certainly a story to tell with Qi’ra and Maul, if the powers that be decide we are worthy of Crimson Dawn: A Star Wars Story. But with the way the fandom has been acting lately, between the treatment of Rian Johnson and Kelly Marie Tran, we don’t deserve nice things.
Fans of Star Wars: Rebels saw how cunning Maul was, and how he had almost convinced Ezra to take his side. Doing that with Qi’ra would be a fun movie. It would be able to paint Maul in a new light. How does someone who is not force sensitive, approach someone who is, but knows nothing about them?
While I don’t think we will get any live action continuation, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a comic book or a novel furthering that relationship. It is one I am definitely intrigued by.
The Solo novelization hits shelves September 4. Meanwhile, Solo: A Star Wars Story is available in 4K Digital on September 14, and 4K Blu-ray September 25.