Charles Soule’s Crimson Reign comic miniseries wrapped up recently, completing the second part of a trilogy of stories that began with the War of the Bounty Hunters last year.
It will conclude with the Hidden Empire, another five-issue miniseries that begins in November.
In War of the Bounty Hunters, Qi’ra emerged after years of lying dormant, leading Crimson Reign back onto the scene in a big way: orchestrating an auction for Han Solo amongst the various factions in the galaxy (including the Rebels, Empire, and crime syndicates). It succeeded in plunging the syndicates into chaos, which gave Qi’ra the chance to begin unveiling and unleashing the true depth of her forces in Crimson Reign, putting the pieces together for an elaborate plan to strike at the Sith. That plan will come to fruition in Hidden Empire when Qi’ra tries to take down Emperor Palpatine.
Of course, we know how that will work, since this story is set in-between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Palpatine wins, and neither he nor Darth Vader are killed. As Soule has made clear, this story is a tragedy. He teased what we should expect in a recent interview with StarWars.com:
“This new story is designed to deliver the big finale to Qi’ra’s story — at least this phase of it,” he tells StarWars.com. “She emerged from years of hiding with an elaborate, incredible plan to bring down the Sith, and Hidden Empire is the endgame. It brings in players from all over the Star Wars universe, from Darth Vader to Doctor Aphra to the Knights of Ren, and I think it’ll be really satisfying — but tragic. As I had a character say in the very first issue of Crimson Reign, Qi’ra’s story is a tragedy. But… in a good way.”
Soule also teased that the story will feature connections not just to the two films it’s set in-between but also to various points in the Star Wars franchise. He said, “I think it will deliver a deeply satisfying conclusion to Qi’ra’s arc here, and readers will understand how her choices in this story impacted events all across the Star Wars galaxy at this time.”
He’s not saying that this is the end of Qi’ra’s story (that remains to be seen), but this is the end of his trilogy about her. And it sounds like for this final chapter he’s including plenty of connective threads with the rest of the franchise, as well as featuring Vader, Aphra, the Knights of Ren, and more. I’m really excited to see where it goes, and I’ve enjoyed the story so far.