Last year while investigating, digging, and interviewing people about the Solo: A Star Wars Story, I was told I was really going to want to look into Dreyden Vos. At the time we wondered if it was Quinlan Vos, a prequel era Jedi that was likely to survive into the live action series Star Wars Underworld. The character was to be played by The Wire’s Michael K. Williams. When Williams exited the film due to scheduling conflicts, we figured if he was the ex-Jedi, once Paul Bettany came in, the character had likely changed. Today EW has a new article on the criminals in Han Solo’s life and confirms he’s in fact playing Vos but there’s no connection to the prequel era Jedi that often went undercover in the underworld during his run of Dark Horse Comics. The EW article by Anthony Breznican also profiles Thandie Newton’s Val and Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett.
If you remember back to when Michael K. Williams left the picture, Williams let slip that his character was linked to Qi’ra and he even dropped her name (which had a different spelling during production which was “Kura” a second variation on “Kira” which was Rey’s original name in The Force Awakens). EW describes Paul Bettany’s character as a sophisticated crime lord. Most likely, in my opinion he has direct connections to crime organizations like The Pyke Syndicate. They say he doesn’t get his hands dirty and that makes sense as that’s probably where our heroes come in.
Co-writer Jon Kasdan says this about Vos:
“It’s a sort of combination of class and swagger and real danger which I think is a fun thing, and he absolutely inhabits it,” says Jon Kasdan. “He’s way deeper in the crime world than anyone else that we meet in the movie.”
Val is another name I heard sometime ago. The good thing about there being so many important women in Solo’s life is it wasn’t immediately obvious if this was Qi’ra’s name or the droid or someone else entirely. But thankfully today EW confirmed that Thandie Newton is in fact playing Val. We knew the character was involved in the mud sequence scenes (Mimban) and the toys I see constantly all over Twitter confirm as much.
“She’s tied to Beckett, that’s how Han meets Val,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “They’ve been partners a long time.”
The article only confirms that Val isn’t that impressed with Han Solo when she meets him. Jon Kasdan says that’s a common thing for Solo in his life. That’s a pretty good detail as it seems to be how our heroes in A New Hope also perceive him when they first meet him.
Beckett’s name was first revealed on late night television sometime ago. He’s a sort of Long John Silver type character and the Kasdans both reread Treasure Island to prepare for the writing of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Breznican reminds us that Beckett is a character that has been a criminal for sometime but without any great success to his name.
Woody Harrelson brings a lot of humanity to the part but he’s a tough character. Ron Howard notes he’s also very charismatic. Solo forces himself into Beckett’s life and that choice is life altering for Han. Beckett appears to be Solo’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Well, he really shapes Han really more than anybody, as Han comes to realize that in a lawless time he needs to try to come to terms with some kind of moral code,” says director Ron Howard.
The article also teases Boba Fett at the end because of this photo from Ron Howard’s Twitter:
Is Boba actually in the film? There are a bunch of specimens in glass, it looks like. Maybe Vos has a Mando suit in his collection of rare stuff? Or Maybe he’s hired Boba Fett. The character has come up on a lot of listing collecting sites have noted recently and other toy leaks do depict him as on the way. That said, it isn’t really conclusive either as they’re always making Boba and Vader toys and so on.
You can check out the full article on Han’s gang family from EW. I suggest checking it out and reading the quotes directly. Plus there’s a lot more there to check out.