June 22nd 2016, everything changed for Star Wars characters that originated outside the movies: Forest Whitaker was confirmed to be playing Saw Gerrera in Rogue One. Sure, even before that, characters like Snap Wexley, Bazine Netal, Bobbajo, and even Poe Dameron debuted elsewhere before their The Force Awakens appearance… But they were still originally designed for that film. Live-action versions of characters like Ahsoka, Hondo, Sloane, or Aphra all seemed very much impossible.

Now, with Saw’s inclusion in Rogue One this year, the floodgates have opened. While I personally think we’re still a ways off from an Ahsoka Tano solo film, there are some minor characters who I definitely believe we’ll be seeing in future films. I’ll detail three of them here. Potential spoilers for all of their canon appearances, of course.

Sana StarrosSana Starros

This one is mostly based on a tweet from insider Jeff Sneider, in which he stated casting for the female lead in the Han Solo movie was down to four actresses, none of which are white. Assuming this report is accurate, Sana Starros would fit the role perfectly. What we know of her history so far, from her appearances in the Star Wars comics, is few and far between. But we do know she has history with Han.

In fact, they were even married at one point! …Sort of. The fake marriage was part of a plan to execute a robbery. The robbery succeeded, but Han ended up taking her cut of the score. Her first appearances in the comics show her stopping at nothing or no-one to find Han and confront him about this.

This could translate to her being in the Han Solo movie as a strong-willed foil to Han. Complete with sparkling chemistry and the obligatory romantic interest… Without ever getting too serious with that. I’ll be very confused if the film has a strong female POC character and she’s nót named Sana Starros.

Airen Cracken

A deeper cut, and one that technically doesn’t count for this article, as Airen Cracken is the name given to an extra that flew in the Falcon with Lando and Nien in Return of the Jedi. More relevant though, are his appearances in the Moving Target novel and Han Solo comic as a General and the Head of Security and Intelligence for the Rebel Alliance.

Cracken was involved with both Han Solo’s secret mission to retrieve Rebel spies and Leia’s top-secret skirmish to lure Imperial ships away from the Death Star II. This makes him the perfect candidate to be involved in a mission as secretive and important as the stealing of the Death Star plans. Moreover, Alistair Petrie, who we see and hear in both trailers for Rogue One, bears a resemblance to the character’s appearance in the comic.

Alistair Petrie as Airen Cracken
Airen Cracken, as played by Alistair Petrie?

My arguments for Sana appearing may be rooted in rumours, but Airen seems likely based on just what we can see and hear in officially released products. If anyone wants to bet me that this character isn’t appearing in Rogue One, I’ll be looking forward to taking your money!

Evaan Verlaine

Finally, a theory I’m less certain of, but I think it may be the most interesting. Part of my reasoning is based on some minor leaks from the set of Episode VIII. So if you don’t want to be spoiled for that, just look at the following picture, and realize how the young lady on the left could easily turn into the woman on the right in a 34 year timespan.

Evaan is Laura Dern
Evaan Verlaine and Laura Dern: One and the same?

Evaan Verlaine was introduced in the Princess Leia comic as an Alderaanian survivor who went on a mission with the princess to save other Alderaanians from extermination by the Empire. During this mission, the princess and her protector butted heads on several issues, with Evaan usually wanting to take a less diplomatic approach to things. The women succeeded in the end, and Leia appointed Evaan as a representative for the Alderaanian people. Along the way, they also became fast friends, and Leia would call on Evaan again later to help her save Han and Chewie on Kashyyyk in Aftermath: Life Debt.

Fast forward some 34 in-universe years and some spoilers on Laura Dern’s as-of-yet unnamed Episode VIII character. Dern is said to play a Resistance leader with a very different approach to Leia. Now, if we’re going to have a character like that, it would really be narratively satisfying for her and Leia to still have some underlying mutual respect due to their past together. Even better, Leia is the one who put her in a position of power in the same place. It would be great if the biggest thorn in Leia’s side in Episode VIII is one of her best friends and protegés.

It definitely works out age-wise. As Princess Leia comic writer Mark Waid said on Twitter, Evaan is about Leia’s age, so around 19 during A New Hope. That means in Episode VIII, set 34 years later, Evaan should be around 53. That’s not a stretch for 49-year old actress Laura Dern.

I would love it if this character, one of the first new ones in the new canon, played a critical role in Episode VIII. However, this theory assumes the character of Evaan Verlaine has evolved in a certain way in those 34 years. A lot of different things could happen in that time, in fact she might not even be alive at that point. It may be the least likely of these three theories, but I would love it to be true.

And if any or all of these turn out false… We’ve always got Saw Gerrera.

Agree or heavily disagree with any of these? Let me know on Twitter!

Saw Gerrera

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2 thoughts on “Gerrera’s Gateway

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