Posted on Monday, October 10th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Last wek, we learned that Tessa Thompson, Zoe Kravitz, and Naomi Scott were among the actresses testing for the female lead role in Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s Han Solo spinoff movie, but it’s still unclear which character they could be playing. So now is as good a time as any to speculate and learn more about the most likely pre-existing option, Sana Starros.
Like it or not, everything we know so far about Lawrence and Jake Kasdan‘s script for the Han Solo movie suggests we will be exploring his origins: his first meeting with Chewbacca, the life debt, winning the Millenium Falcon from Lando Calrissian (Disney is currently looking for an actor to play this character, although we have our favorites) and probably the Kessel Run (something I’d rather not ever see).
The smuggler, pirate, and selfish womanizer probably had a lot of female friends before meeting his future wife Princess Leia Organa during the Battle of Yavin. But most of the women we know are now part of Legends, Lucasfilm’s de-canonized Star Wars expanded universe. It’s possible that Disney could introduce an entirely new character for the female lead in the Han Solo movie. But since it seems like they are leaning so heavily on prior canon, why not use a character who has previously been introduced in the Star Wars universe?
In the comics, Sana Starros was human female with black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin. The description accurately describes all three actresses reported to be up for the role. Again, that could be just a coincidence. But we know they’re telling Han Solo’s backstory with a new (non-Leia) female lead, and it seems they’ve narrowed the search to actresses who have a similar look as the only significant canon love interest in Han Solo’s life before A New Hope. It seems reasonable to guess there’s a connection there.
So, for those of you who aren’t reading Marvel’s excellent Star Wars comic book series, let’s take a look at Han Solo’s “ex-wife” Sana Starros.
In Star Wars #4, published on April 22, 2015, and written by Jason Aaron with art by John Cassaday, we were introduced to an unnamed masked female bounty hunter who was on the search for Han Solo. For those of you who don’t know, the ongoing comic book series takes place between Star Wars: Episode VI – A New Hope and Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.
The mysterious bounty hunter’s search has brought her to the desert world of Tatooine, where Han and his ship, the Millennium Falcon, had been sighted shortly before the Battle of Yavin. She met with a group of armed Rodians in the Mos Eisley Cantina (because why can’t this universe be any smaller?) who revealed that Han had left Tatooine after killing one of their Rodian brothers, Greedo. From what we can tell, the character is laser focused and badass.
Sana was able to track Han’s location and followed him into the Moddell sector in the Outer Rim Territories. Han and Princess Leia Organa were hiding out from a fleet of TIE fighters aboard a stolen Imperial Lambda-class T-4a shuttle on a planet in the Monsua Nebula when Sana arrived. Issue #6 of the series ended with a shocking cliffhanger. Han Solo was none too pleased to be reunited with his wife Sana Starros, a reveal that was made in front of Princess Leia:
Star Wars #9, “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon, Part I,” picked back up with the storyline, with Sana Solo arguing with Han Solo and Leia annoyed by the whole situation. Starros claimed to have documents that prove they are husband and wife but Han insisted “she’s not my wife,” and Leia believes that Han is lying. Sana tries to convince Leia that Han is playing her, and his end game is a big score.
The Imperials arrive and while Sana’s initial plan is to turn Leia over for a big reward, she soon discovers that Han has joined the Rebellion and is also a wanted man. She has spent so much time scouring the galaxy for him, Sana can’t lose Solo now. So Sana is forced to save them both, making a quick escape in her ship. It turns out, much like Han, she is also a smuggler operating outside of the boundaries of the law.