Star Wars has delivered one of the juicier moments for fans who love the drama: the long-awaited first meeting of the two loves of Han Solo's life: Princess Leia and Qi'ra. Ever since the latter character made her debut in the Star Wars standalone film Solo: A Star Was Story, fans have had soap opera-level giddiness at the thought of these two powerful women of the Star Wars Universe colliding. Well, as an epilogue to the recent "War of the Bounty Hunters" crossover event Leia and Qi'ra meet for a chat - and it is everything fans could've hoped for!
(Warning, Spoilers for Marvel Comics' Star Wars #18 Follow!)
"War of the Bounty Hunters" found space in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi for a story in which Qi'ra resurfaces as leader of the Crimson Dawn organization and makes her presence known by stealing Han Solo's carbonite-frozen body from Boba fett while he was en route to Jabba the Hutt's palace. Qi'ra staged an underworld auction for Han's body that attracted Darth Vader, Leia and her Rebel friends, and every bounty hunter and criminal syndicate Solo ever wronged (read: all of them). But (obviously) in the end Fett reclaimed his prize and delivered it to Jabba as promised.
In Star Wars #18, "Collision Course", Qi'ra makes contact with Leia, Lando and Chewbacca with a surprising request: a little parle aboard the Millenium Falcon, with none of her Crimson Dawn soldiers in tow. Just Qi'ra. Even though Lando knows Qi'ra well enough to know things aren't what they seem, Leia agrees.
The meeting between Leia and Qi'ra manages to do right by fans of both characters (thanks to longtime Star Wars writer Charles Soule). Qi'ra reveals the depths of her cunning by revealing to Leia that it was her plan to draw Leia to Crimson Dawn's auction with the sole hope of getting him back to the people (and the woman) who loved him. Unfortunately, events didn't unfold in a way that would've allowed Qi'ra to return Han in a way that also benefitted her, so no happy ending. At that point, Leia is ready take Qi'ra out for good, but Crimson Dawn's leader has another ace up her sleeve:
Qi'ra also reveals to Leia that Han Solo isn't dead like she believes he is.
During the finale of War of the Bounty Hunters Han's carbonite body fell out of a ship and seemingly into the ocean, lost forever. However, Boba risked life and limb to fish Solo out and get him back to Jabba - and Crimson Dawn has the intel necessary for Leia to save him.
Star Wars #18 ends with Leia and Qi'ra making a tenuous alliance: they will let Han stay with Jabba in the immediate future, and bide their time until they regroup and strike at Jabba - together.0comments
This chapter not only fills in another gap in the modern Star Wars canon (and further appeases Solo fans), it's also one more puzzle piece of how the franchise is building Qi'ra and Crimson Dawn into a much bigger part of the mythos.
Star Wars #18 is now on sale from Marvel Comics.