WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story, in theaters now.
After months of speculation, the mystery of Solo: A Star Wars Story's Enfys Nest has been revealed -- and he's nothing like you expected.
Correction: She's nothing like you expected.
Trailers for the Han Solo origin story teased Enfys Nest as a masked villain, the leader of a band of marauders looking to throw a wrench into the young smuggler's plans. And while the film does a great job at convincing audiences of this for much of its runtime, a late game reveal tosses the plot on its head. Why? Well, not only isn't Enfys Nest male, she isn't a villain at all.
Played by English actor Lily Newmark, Enfys Nest is introduced to Solo during a mission on the snow-covered planet Vandor, where Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his crew of bandits are attempting to lift a whole mess of coaxium (pricey starship fuel) from a freight train. Things go awry when Enfys Nest and her band of Cloud Riders show up and attempt to snake the score out from under Beckett's crew, eventually causing it to fall to the planet and detonate, killing both Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio Durant (Jon Favreau) in the process.
From this, audiences are left thinking that Nest's marauders are ruthless, animalistic thieves just looking to grift. They place a tracking device on Solo and company, and we don't see them again until the film's third act.
When the Cloud Riders finally catch up with Solo on Savareen (where the unrefined coaxium can be dolled up and made a tad less volatile) following the legendary Kessel Run, audiences are left expecting a Western-style showdown complete with quick-draw blasters.
That's when Enfys Nest reveals herself not as the leader of a pack of bloodthirsty marauders, but a ragtag group of rebel kickstarts. Nest and her crew want the coaxium to supply the Rebellion with fuel in order to give them a fighting chance in their guerilla war against the Empire. Yes, that rebellion.
The reveal that Enfys Nest is not a man and not an ambiguous evildoer subverts the tired tropes of much of the Star Wars universe. Where general audiences may not see a through-line from Solo to the rest of the saga, this subversion proves that there is a thread.
On its face, Solo is a reminder that hope is the driving force in the galaxy, even for those that might not believe in ancient weapons and magic religions (at least, not yet). This alone draws comparison to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and it's message of hope, but Solo's treatments of its villains and the blurred line between them and the supposed heroes brings it a lot closer to the controversy and risk-taking of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Enfys Nest represents a shifting tide in not only the world of Star Wars, but in its real-life fandom. She represents the need for strong female characters to not be fridged or defined by their appearances. Audiences might go in expecting Enfys Nest to be anyone from a classic Star Wars cameo (like the name-dropped Bossk) to the film's actual main villain. But in reality, she's a young, rebel sympathizer, just looking to take out imperial scum.
And, hey -- maybe that's something we can all get behind.
KEEP READING: Who Plays THAT Character in Solo: A Star Wars Story?