Star Wars War of the Bounty Hunters # 1 reveals Qi’ra’s return
At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett was on cloud nine or rather, Cloud City, thinking he had just secured the bonus of the century in Han Solo carbonite–embedded form. Yet it turns out that Fett was unable to go directly to Jabba’s palace without some complications… and now we know that these complications have huge ramifications for Star warscriminal underworld — thanks to a new Marvel comic and a hell of a revelation.
Bounty Hunter War # 1 — the first in a limited five-part comic book series by Charles Soule, Luke Ross, Neeraj Menon, and Travis Lanham — opens this week with the very basic premise we already knew: Someone Stole Han Solo at Boba fett, and Boba Fett is very mad. But as always with the galaxy’s underworld far, far away, things are always more complicated, messier, and more intimate than just having someone take something from someone else. Drowning his grief over Nar Shaddaa, Fett quickly discovers that the Bounty Hunter Guild placed an open contract on him, making his bad day even worse. Now all the hunters, from hikes in the bar to favorites like 4-LOM and Zuckuss are after the large pile of credits on Fett’s head. Although he is good at what he does, as he frequently reminds his associates and opponents same in this issue – even he can’t play the part his best, the most asshole of himself when every hunter worthy of the name is on his heels. After a A quick and explosive fight that distinctly separates 4-LOM’s head from his body, Fett uses the droid to reverse engineer the one that triggered the blow: Jabba the Hutt, who is very upset that Fett is late with his popsicle Han Solo.
That would be enough of an interesting twist: the realization that everyone underworld of Star wars is, frankly, an incredible jumble of very dramatic freelancers, their bosses, and tired, tired vets who just want to do their job as stress-free as possible, even if the job gets pulled over all the time. Even if we contrast it with the clear characterization of Fett’s number as the image we knew and loved beyond appearing in the movies – that it is truly fair That kind of badass, for better or worse– it’s made a lot more interesting and frankly a lot funnier here that this whole messy storyline is made up of his own failure to keep Han from being ripped from him in the first place. Fett made his bed, got it half ass, and now he has to lie in it and that exasperated him.
As nice as it is to see Fett’s character of perfection a little tired, Bounty Hunter War goes way beyond putting it on the back foot. After he storms Jabba’s Palace to find out why it was compromised, we’re faced with a much less clear-cut situation than we imagined. Jabba learned that Fett lost Han along the way, and not just that, he learned from the people who picked up the package in a desperate attempt to piss off virtually every major player in the game. Star wars the comic universe, of the Rebel Alliance (which wants Han’s return, because he is Han), the Empire (which wants him to be captured or dead, because he is a rebel commander), the Hutts (who, through Jabba, are still angry with Han for the whole smuggling deal passed south), and even players like Sana Starros and Doctor Aphra (who, to varying degrees of investment, would prefer not to see their complicated friend being killed by criminal acts). And those responsible are very familiar…
These are the Crimson Dawn: Darth Maul’s criminal syndicate of the last days of the Clone Wars. And apparently still very much alive and vibrant even though their true master traded a seedy empire for his. tragic quest for revenge years ago. Again, if it was there Bounty Hunter War # 1 left, we would be in for a fascinating thought experiment. The return of the Crimson Dawn to prominence in the underworld throws a new faction amidst the mess between everything from your common thugs to great brawlers, like the Hutt clans and “respectable” organizations like the Bounty Hunters Guild. It adds texture to an area of the galaxy that Lucasfilm increasingly fascinates explore further. Creations like Star Wars: The Wrong Lot and Boba Fett’s book to films like Solo and comics like this delve deep into this side of Star warsaway from lightsabers, X-Wings and TIE Fighters.
In the same way that factions like the Empire or the Rebellion cannot be entirely, the underworld can be fractured and tumultuous, with layers of double-crossing and difficult alliances being just gone on this dark side of the universe. But true to form, the problem has one final twist that makes everything much, much messier. Darth Maul long gone from the Crimson Dawn and the person who picked up Han Solo to revitalize Dawn’s reputation and sell him to the highest bidder? It is none other than Qi’ra.
This is the first time we see Emilia Clarke troubled Corellian criminal since Solo: A Star Wars History, which took place almost a decade and a half before the events of this comic book. Fans of the character have been waiting and waiting to see what Lucasfilm could do with her and now we’re going to start to see indications that, perhaps, it’s been a long and difficult time for Qi’ra. Its last page reveals in Bounty Hunter War # 1 depicts her as having both complicated feelings towards Han, but also hardened even more by her life at dawn, her former friend and lover now as much of a tool for her to wield this criminal power as he is anyone. one she once cared about. deeply.
Time will tell what will happen to Qi’ra as Bounty Hunter War comes to its conclusion, but its reappearance at that exact moment unlocks a ton of fascinating material for the character to explore. Such an idea? Turns out the bounty hunt is really is a complicated profession, especially if the target is one of the galaxy’s most infamous smugglers.
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