Warning: This article contains spoilers for War of the Bounty Hunters #3
On Wednesday, IGN revealed the exclusive first details for Star Wars: Crimson Reign, a new comic mini-series debuting in November starring Qi’ra, played by Emilia Clarke in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. The 5-issue run is written by Charles Soule, who also penned the on-going War of the Bounty Hunters, in which Qi’ra made her triumphant return in back in June.
This new series follows in the footsteps of the aforementioned Bounty Hunters and will serve as second part of a Qi’ra trilogy according to Soule. The series is described as an event that will “reshape the history of the Star Wars Galaxy during the Age of Rebellion.”
When speaking to IGN, Soule discussed how Crimson Reign came to fruition.
“”I planned to tell the story we’re seeing in War of the Bounty Hunters from the very first pitches I wrote when I knew I’d be taking over the Star Wars title for Marvel,” Soule said. “But it was really when I knew I had a secret weapon to deploy storywise that the seeds of Crimson Reign began to take root in my mind: Qi’ra.”
“While Qi’ra plays a huge part in War of the Bounty Hunters, that event is really a Boba Fett story. I have a bigger story I’m going to tell with Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn, and it’s all connected to the reasons she kicked things off in War of the Bounty Hunters in the first place. You’ll learn more about that in the closing pages of War of the Bounty Hunters #5, out in October, and I think fans have no idea how exciting and new this story will feel.”
War of the Bounty Hunters released its third of five issues on Wednesday. The series follows infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as he attempts to reclaim Han Solo frozen in carbonite, who has been stolen by Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn. Throughout the first three issues and several tie-ins, we have seen every corner of the galaxy join the action.
“From the moment I took the gig writing Star Wars, I wanted to do new things in the Star Wars timeline between Episodes V and VI, using new characters from all eras of the galaxy far, far away,” Soule said. “Crimson Reign, which continues what I plan as a trilogy that began with War of the Bounty Hunters, is a great example of how I like to write Star Wars stories. Everything and everyone is fair game, and I think people are really going to enjoy it. Await the Reign.”
Along with the press release came three new covers for the series.
Qi’ra’s return to a galaxy far, far away was met with gratitude from many fans, who hoped to see the character appear in a sequel to the 2018 Han Solo standalone film. After her appearances in these first three issues of War of the Bounty Hunters, it is clear that Soule has great plans for the character. She has already shown her ability as a duelist, taking on Vader with her abilities in Teräs Käsi, a form of hand-to-hand combat that was created to fight Jedi. This was taught to Qi’ra by Dryden Vos and assumingely the Sith Lord Maul, who was also a practitioner of the combat form.
As for her future in a galaxy far, far away, it would make sense to see Emilia Clarke reprise her role in the upcoming Book of Boba Fett series or The Mandalorian Season 3. This would be quite the setup for her return, as Clarke has revealed that she was moved by the character’s recent reappearance. For now, we look forward to her continued reign over the Star Wars Marvel Comics.
As Soule alluded to, there are plenty of characters being brought into this bridging story. Darth Vader is featured prominently on all three covers, with Luke and Leia bringing the Skywalker family together on Steve Cummings’ variant cover. Cummings will also be doing the interior art for the mini-series as well.
Fan-favorite Doctor Chelli Aphra is also spotted on the cover, and her involvement in War of the Bounty Hunters will likely lead right into her involvement in Crimson Reign. Other characters on the cover include Deathstick, an assassin who first debuted in the mobile game Star Wars: Uprising but has made her jump to comics during this crossover event, and Chanath Cha, another bounty hunter created by Soule during his past work on the Lando comic.
One of the most surprising appearances on the cover however is Ren, leader of the Knights of Ren before Kylo’s time. He first appeared in The Rise of Kylo Ren in 2019 where he and the Knights battled Luke Skywalker. Will we see a previous encounter between the them in this limited series? We will have to wait and see.
Finally, a famous TIE-Fighter variant looms over the cast. The TIE Defender project was initiated by Grand Admiral Thrawn in the final years leading up to the Battle of Yavin. The project was so heavily supported by Imperial leadership that transferring funds from Project Stardust (the Death Star) was considered until development was halted with the destruction of the Imperial fuel depot on Lothal and Thrawn’s disappearance amid the battle on the planet shortly thereafter. Could the project have been picked up by Crimson Dawn in secret, or will the Empire be using these powerful variants against Qi’ra and her new underworld empire?
What do you think of this Crimson Reign announcement? Are you looking forward to more Qi’ra content? Where would you like to see the character appear next? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media!