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Emilia Clarke cast in Han Solo film: Rise of female 'Star Wars' protagonists

Clarke is best known for starring in the HBO smash hit fantasy series 'Game of Thrones.' She'll appear in the upcoming Han Solo movie alongside Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover.

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    Emilia Clarke poses at the BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea Party in West Hollywood, California on September 17, 2016.
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“Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke will reportedly appear in a “Star Wars” film about Han Solo, following the creation of franchise two films that have earned praise for putting female characters front and center.

Ms. Clarke’s role in the movie, which stars Alden Ehrenreich of “Hail, Caesar!” as the smuggler and is set to be released in 2018, is currently unspecified.

Clarke has earned three Emmy nominations for best supporting actress in a drama for her appearances on the HBO smash hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” as monarch Daenerys Targaryen.

It was also recently announced that Donald Glover of the FX TV series “Atlanta” will appear in the Han Solo film as a younger version of the character Lando Calrissian, played in the original “Star Wars” series by Billy Dee Williams. 

The most recent and upcoming “Star Wars” films put an emphasis on female characters and have earned praise for doing so. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which was released in 2015 and is currently the highest-grossing movie domestically of all time without adjusting for inflation, features characters like John Boyega’s Finn and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren but inarguably centers on Rey (Daisy Ridley), a young woman who learns of her Jedi talents.

And promotion for the upcoming film “Rogue One,” which is a prequel about the efforts of rebels to secure the plans for the Death Star and will be released on Dec. 16, has focused on actress Felicity Jones’s character, Jyn Erso. 

Many critics and fans seem impressed by this focus. Megan Garber of The Atlantic wrote of Rey, “No distressing damsel, she’s instead a fighter and a survivor and a nurturer … she’s also something both simpler and more meaningful: a fully realized character. Rey is a woman who refuses to be defined as one.” 

Meanwhile, Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune noted earlier this year that an action figure of “Rogue One” character Jyn was the most popular of the “Rogue One” toys then available for pre-order at Toys R Us. 

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