What happened in-between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi?
Charles Soule is hard at work currently filling in that time period. He’s writing the main Star Wars comic line, which focuses on the time period, but he’s also in the midst of a trilogy of stories that is telling an influential story that focuses on Crimson Dawn.
That story begin last year with the War of the Bounty Hunters five-issue mini-series, and it continued with the Crimson Reign five-issue mini-series. That series just recently wrapped up, and it’s setting the stage for the conclusion of this trilogy with Hidden Empire, which is beginning in October 2022, as per the final page of Crimson Reign #5. The tease on the final page reads:
THE CRIMSON REIGN has come to an end… but the final part of the trilogy that began with War of the Bounty Hunters is coming. Witness the final confrontation between LADY QI’RA and the DARK LORDS OF THE SITH in… THE HIDDEN EMPIRE.
The story focuses on Qi’ra, now leading Crimson Dawn as the criminal organization emerges from the shadows, having long been thought dead. But Crimson Dawn organizes the capture of Han Solo (still frozen in carbonite), orchestrating an auction and starting a war between the crime syndicates. Qi’ra’s full plan has yet to be revealed, but she has managed to place Crimson Dawn operatives in every corner of the galaxy and hopes to take down the Sith once and for all… but Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader have just recently learned of this threat.
We obviously know that Qi’ra isn’t going to be successful in this endeavor, as we know what happens to Palpatine and Vader. As the Archivist even says in Crimson Reign #1, “This is the story of the fall of Crimson Dawn. This story is a tragedy.” But there’s still a lot of intrigue about what happens and how, because what we don’t know is what becomes of Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn. It’s likely we’ll learn some answers beginning this fall with Hidden Empire, the conclusion to this consequential trilogy.