Falcon and Winter Soldier: Erin Kellyman Compares Her Star Wars 'Villain' To Marvel Character

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Erin Kellyman, Solo A Star Wars Story logo, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier logo

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in full swing, and the latest entry to the massive slate of projects is The Falcon and the Winter SoldierSet after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the series reunites Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes for a globetrotting adventure, with its main narrative centered around the legacy of Captain America's shield. 

The first episode of the show managed to catch up with viewers about the personal lives of the titular pair, showcasing Sam and Bucky's struggles to make amends with family and past victims, respectfully. The second episode showcased the team-up of the heroes for the first time after Endgame, showing the duo's reaction toward the government's brand-new Captain America.  

So far, it has been established that the Flag-Smashers are the chief villains of the show, considering that the international group is the main target of the heroes during their early missions. However, it looks like an interesting comment from one of the cast members may hint that this is not entirely the case. 


Erin Kellyman Falcon and Winter Soldier

Erin Kellyman, who plays Flag-Smasher leader Karli Morgenthau in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, sat down with USA Today to talk about the Marvel series, and one of the topics discussed was the villainous group's motivation. 

Kellyman opened up by praising Marvel's way of storytelling, admitting that the studio “does a great job” of creating stories that “mean something” to society while also revealing that she strongly “agree[s]” with the fight of the Flag-Smashers in the show: 

“Marvel does a great job of making all of their stories mean something still to society. I agree with the Flag Smashers' fight. I don't necessarily agree with the way that they're doing it, but it's all very important and I think people need to try and relate it back to the world that we live in today.”

Ultimately, Kellyman pointed out that Karli's fight in the series is about equality, sharing that The Blip made things “better” and there is “more hope” for the world: 

“When 50% of the population disappeared, things started to get better. There seemed to be more hope. Her drive is good, and she comes from a good place. It's very interesting to kind of see how that unfolds [in the next few episodes].” 

The actress then compared Karli to her own Star Wars character, Enfys Nest, describing both individuals as ones who have “a lot of layers,” but their fight is “pure” and “relevant:” 

“I’m starting to make a bit of a trend about playing masked villains who have a good roo. Both Enfys Nest and Karli Morgenthau definitely have a lot of layers to them, and on first impressions, yeah, they might seem like people that are trying to cause trouble or no good. But deep down, their fight is pure, and it's relevant, and people need to listen.”

To recap, Kellyman played Enfys Nest in Solo: A Star Wars Story opposite Alden Heinrich's Han Solo. Initially, Enfys was portrayed as a villainous character, but it was later revealed that she was a resistance fighter against space crime syndicates.


Kellyman's comments mirror the earlier sentiments of the show's creator, Malcolm Spellman, about the Flag-Smashers. The head scribe teased the idea that the group is not villainous at all. That being said, it looks like the masked members will turn out to be the good guys after all, but the fact that they are misunderstood is their driving force to fight back. 

In canon, the world was in shambles after the devastating effects of Thanos' snap in Avengers: Infinity War, and a glimpse of the chaos was seen in the final moments of the film as well as the early scenes of Endgame. Beneath the mishap, it seems that the Flag-Smashers are trying to reinstate what was established then, mainly focused on the open-border policies that were implemented. 

Kellyman's remarks about the fact that things were “better” during the five year-gap between Endgame and Infinity War is one of the main objectives that the Flag-Smashers are trying to fight for, but their radical approach is leading to powerful confrontations against heroes like Sam and Bucky. 

It remains to be seen if Sam and Bucky will realize the true intentions of the villainous group, but there's a good chance that the two sides will come to an understanding at some point. However, John Walker's involvement is another story altogether, and this could potentially lead to a showdown between him and the titular pair to ultimately protect the masked vigilantes. 

Kellyman's comparison between the MCU's Karli and Star Wars' Enfys Nest is an interesting one, and this could hint that a similar reveal will be in the cards for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. If this is the case, it's possible that Karli could make the sacrifice play for the group, essentially establishing the idea that the Flag-Smashers' goal is to create a better world for everyone. 

Whatever the case, the upcoming episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are shaping up to be an emotional rollercoaster with the Flag-Smashers being at the center of it all. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+. 

Release Date
March 19, 2021
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.