Warning, minor spoilers ahead for Solo: A Star Wars Story...
If Solo: A Star Wars Story did anything, it introduced the film-only going audience to a lot of new characters you would only find in the books and TV series. The influence from shows like The Clone Wars is evident on screen as the events in the galaxy are becoming more and more interlaced.
One character in particular, Enfys Nest, whose time on screen may have been limited but ended up being very impactful on the state of things going forward, particularly with regards to the Rebellion. When we last saw Nest and her gang, the Cloud Riders, she was given a very large shipment of coaxium by Han Solo, enough to financially back an "entire fleet". Coaxium, in case you didn't know, is a very volatile but valuable form of hyperfuel and at the end of Solo, Nest had plans for it...
"You know what that really is?…It's the blood that brings life to something new…a rebellion."
~Enfys Nest to Han Solo
The film never shows who the buyer is for all that coaxium but you can see from the quote and by watching the film that it's meant for the good guys. Well, thanks to Mur Lafferty's expanded edition of Solo: A Star Wars Story, we now know exactly who it went to and what it was used for. And as you'll see from the excerpt below, it's two very familiar faces...
Enfys always had meetings in her full armor and mask. She didn’t own the proper clothing to meet with government officials, but her job was not diplomacy. And it was probably for the best that she hid her identity even from her allies; it wouldn’t do for them to start doubting her because of her age.
She stood, her Cloud-Riders behind her on their swoop bikes, protecting their coaxium shipment, as the Onderonean shuttle landed in front of her.
A tall, heavy, brown-skinned man wearing a long black cape exited the shuttle alone.
He actually came alone. Brave, Enfys thought.
“Saw Gerrera,” she said, her modulator disguising her soft voice.
“Enfys Nest,” he said, glowering. “I hope you have good news for me.” He sounded as if he didn’t believe she ever could.
“Refined coaxium, enough to power a fleet,” she said, gesturing behind her. “I trust you will put it to good use.”
He relaxed, shock obvious on his face. “How did you manage this?”
“We have our ways,” she said. “You—” A sound came from the shuttle, something clattering to the floor. Gerrera’s head whipped around, anger rising.
He hadn’t come alone. Enfys closed her fist by her side and heard her Cloud-Riders raise their weapons.
“You agreed to come alone,” she snapped.
He held his hands up and backed slowly toward the shuttle. “Put your weapons away. There is no threat. My ward wanted to come with me. She’s young. Curious.”
“Yes. She’s eleven. But she needs to learn.”
Enfys heard small feet running on the shuttle.
“Bring her out.”
“Lower your weapons,” he countered.
Enfys nodded once and raised her hand to order her riders to stand down. She heard them relax and lower their weapons. She knew they would stay alert, regardless. She tensed, poised to dodge to the side if any guards came running down the plank, weapons hot.
But a girl did indeed emerge, cautiously, but unafraid. Her skin was paler than Gerrera’s, and her brown hair was loose and hung in sheets down her back. Calculating blue eyes took in Enfys and her team. Enfys liked her at once.
Saw gave her a little push forward. “This is Jyn.”
“Why would you bring your young ward to a dangerous meeting?” Enfys asked curiously.
“She needs to learn,” he repeated. “If she’s going to survive . . .”
“She’s very young,” Enfys said, repeating things that had been said about her over and over again. She wanted to see how Gerrera would react.
He frowned. “Many people treat age as if it’s a shield to hide behind, something that protects our children. And sometimes it is. Until someone comes along who doesn’t honor the shield. Then we must decide if we’re going to keep pretending that shield is there. The Empire doesn’t care what age she is. So she must learn about this threat that faces all of us.”
“Is that so?” Enfys took a step forward. “Come here, Jyn.”
The girl took a step forward, unafraid. He let her go, waiting patiently. Enfys looked down at the girl. Even though they came from such different worlds, she still reminded Enfys of herself seven years ago. The luxury of youth banished in the face of turmoil.
She reached under her mask and pulled it off, shaking her wild hair free. She smiled at Jyn, who still watched her, unmoved by the reveal. “Do you think that your youth protects you?”
“No,” Jyn said flatly.
“You’re right. You’re smart. Still, they’re going to underestimate you. Make them regret it.”
The girl’s eyes narrowed as if the threat were right behind them. “They?”
“Everyone,” Enfys said. “Make them regret it.”
Jyn nodded once.
“If you’re satisfied,” Gerrera said, sounding tense.
“I am.” She gestured to the coaxium behind her. “So will this do? It could do a lot of good.”
“And harm,” he said, his eyes flicking to the fuel. “Which is what we need.”
“I would hope that you would be more precise in your ways, Saw,” she said. “You’re going to need some attention to detail if your fight is going to work.”
“I would think that you of all people would accept that allies come in different shapes, sizes, and ways of fighting,” he said. “We are fighting the same enemy. Moving toward the same goal.”
She sighed. “I only ask that you don’t waste it.”
He made a gesture, so welcoming and graceful it seemed ridiculous coming from someone so rough and unfriendly. “Come, let’s talk.”
He boarded the shuttle and Enfys followed him, secure that her Cloud-Riders would keep the ship grounded until she exited safely. She passed Jyn, who watched them both carefully.
“He’s going to underestimate you,” she whispered.
Enfys smiled to herself. The girl learned fast. They might be in good hands after all.
It's amazing to me that Saw Gerrera and his band of rebels ended up being so well funded but I can't help but wonder how much of it he kept for the "harm" he was referring to and how much he sold. Either way, it definitely looks like Han Solo was indirectly responsible for funding Gerrera and his group of extremists, doubt he had that in mind when he handed it over to Nest.
And how great is it that Jyn Erso and Enfys Nest, both very young at the time, were key players in what would be the start of great change in the galaxy?
To read this and other excerpts from Solo: A Star Wars Story Expanded Edition, visit StarWars.com for more.
Solo: A Star Wars Story by Mur Lafferty hits shelves September 4th.
Till next time...MTFBWY.
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