The release of Solo: A Star Wars Story back in 2018 brought with it not only its own, standalone excitement, but it also brought with it a number of teases regarding where the future of the franchise could be headed. Despite earning relatively positive reviews, the film has the lowest box-office totals of the entire franchise, which, when coupled with some behind-the-scenes shakeups during production, resulted in any plans to continue the series being delayed. However, the release of Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1 brought with it an unexpected reunion, which has ignited speculation among fans about what this means for the future of Han Solo.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1
The event unfolds between Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with the story confirming that Solo, frozen in carbonite, has been stolen from Boba Fett on his way to hand over the valuable bounty to Jabba the Hutt. Towards the end of the issue, readers learn that the mysterious figure is Qi'ra from Solo, who is running operations for the Crimson Dawn, as teased by that film's final sequences.
Given that Qi'ra's return has been shrouded in secrecy, fans are of two minds when it comes to what this means not only for the character, but for the galaxy far, far away as a whole.
With three years having passed and no reports or even rumors emerging that Solo could get a sequel or any sort of spinoff, some fans think this appearance by Qi'ra serves as a substitute for such adventures. By delivering fans any adventures at all, it seemingly cements that Lucasfilm didn't want to see storytelling opportunities entirely tossed to the wayside, assuming fans would rather see comic narratives involving Qi'ra over none at all.
Back in 2019, writer Jonathan Kasdan took to Twitter to tease that the sequel he had hoped to make would see a three-way war between Crimson Dawn, the Hutt Cartel, and the Pyke Syndicate. With War of the Bounty Hunters featuring both Crimson Dawn and the Hutts, that's already two of the three criminal groups, with the Pykes possibly appearing further down the line. Understandably, the timing of this narrative prevents the crossover event from being a direct substitute for a Solo sequel, with some of those planned concepts possibly being reimagined.
Another school of thought among fans is that this return of Qi'ra is meant to get a better sense of how much fans are invested in her experiences. The world of comics might not be as financially lucrative as animation or video games, but with Lucasfilm having adapted elements of properties from those mediums after fans showed their enthusiasm into live-action, this new series could serve as somewhat of a test run for Qi'ra to see what sort of support she receives. With the story having only just started today, readers can look forward to learning how the event unfolds across various issues up through October, thus giving Lucasfilm a lot more time to see how attention in the character persists until almost the end of 2021.
Regardless of what this initial appearance means for Qi'ra, we likely shouldn't expect to see Emilia Clarke return to play the character in live-action for quite some time, though we surely can't rule out the character appearing in other stories if fans show their support strongly enough.2comments
Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1 is on sale now.