A majority of the current Star Wars comics being published take place between the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, allowing audiences to discover adventures that were largely unexplored. Today marks the official launch of a major crossover event with Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters, an experience that will overlap across the pages of beloved titles. If this debut issue is any indication, no matter what fans think they can expect, it's clear that the event will manage to find ways to surprise even the most devout of readers, as this installment finally gave fans a collision between two characters that has been years in the making.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1
The prelude to this event focused on Boba Fett and his travails en route to Jabba the Hutt with a carbonite-frozen Han Solo in tow, only to encounter some trouble that results in his bounty being stolen. Various other tie-in comics have shown just how many people are interested in collecting the bounty on Solo, as well as how Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca hope to rescue their friend.
Through most of War of the Bounty Hunters #1, the identity of who has stolen Han Solo is obscured, only for the final pages to reveal that stealing Solo from Fett is a scheme being orchestrated by Crimson Dawn, with Qi'ra from Solo: A Star Wars Story being the mastermind behind the whole plot.
The original trilogy established Han Solo and Leia Organa's relationship as an iconic pairing in the world of science fiction, only for the release of Solo in 2018 to confirm that Leia wasn't the only love of Han's life. The conclusion of that film featured not only an unexpected cameo from Darth Maul, but also saw Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra continuing her pursuit of a life of crime after leading Han to believe she was ready to turn over a new leaf.
The nature of Solo and the growing world of the franchise led many fans to assume follow-up adventures would be an inevitability, but when that film had a disappointing box office reception, any potential follow-ups or spinoffs have seemingly stagnated. With members of the cast and crew teasing on multiple occasions that the plan was to continue exploring the criminal underworld of the galaxy far, far away, this appearance by Qi'ra confirms that she not only was still an active member of the crime syndicate, but that she still had a connection to Solo, managing to have an unconventional reunion with him more than a decade after they seemingly last saw each other.
Whether this appearance will be relegated to this War of the Bounty Hunters title or if it's setting the stage for more adventures for Qi'ra has yet to be revealed, though the appreciation of the character over the years will surely result in this appearance delighting Star Wars fans new and old alike.
Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1 is on sale now.