Earlier this week, there was a massive disturbance in the Force. After a few months of teasing and hyping up the crossover event War of the Bounty Hunters, we finally had the chance to enjoy it when it came out Wednesday. It did not disappoint, because the comic managed to both tell a very interesting story in addition to surprise the reader with a the return of a character nobody would have guessed, Qi’ra.
Roughly 15 years after the events of Solo, Qi’ra resurfaces in the latest comic which takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Emilia Clarke, who played the character in live-action, couldn’t resist sharing everybody’s enthusiasm as she told Comicbook.com the following:
“It means so much. It means the absolute world. I know her backstory. I know her history. Maybe the movie didn’t get to go there, but that was such an honor and a privilege to be part of that universe as an actor. So then, to see the character actually be taken on to the origin of all of it — bringing it on home to the family in that way — cemented it in a way. I was not expecting to feel as moved as I was by that.”
This comment shouldn’t be looked into too deeply, as it doesn’t indicate the character is returning in live-action or anything. However, it is always fun to speculate on the future. Qi’ra showing up in this issue is much bigger than the fact that its the first we’ve seen of the character in three years. As we mentioned above, the storyline of the comic takes place in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In fact, the MacGuffin of the plot is Han Solo frozen in carbonite. This means that the character would not only be alive but still be head of the Crimson Dawn syndicate ten years after the events of Solo and years after the death of her former boss Maul.
One of the first questions we should ask ourselves is who had the idea of putting the character here? Was it Charles Soule, the writer of the series, who thought that Qi’ra would be the perfect character to show up here? Or was it Lucasfilm, who has larger plans for the character, and they thought now would be the right time to start building momentum for her eventual reappearance in larger platforms?
I would guess that it’s probably the former — Soule has wanted to tackle such a fascinating character for a long time, and this was the perfect time to do it (after all, look at what he did with his Vader series). However, with Clarke now in the Disney family again with her new role in Marvel, and word out there that some upper executives are talking to Alden Ehrenreich again, it’s possible that the company wanted to test the waters. Who knows, maybe that was the whole point of this crossover. It is important to remember we really don’t know how big of a role she will have going forward in the comic run, let alone in other media. And even if it was Soule’s idea, Lucasfilm Story Group, among others in the creative executive food chain, had to approve it and make sure it fit with whatever plans they have brewing behind the scenes for the character.
So, what’s next for Qi’ra? Fans online are speculating left and right about where she might be featured next. And really, with the reveal that she is still alive this many years after Solo, the sky is the limit. Could they be cooking up a quick cameo in The Book of Boba Fett? That show was born out of the minds that brought us The Mandalorian, the show that has been the excuse to re-introduce so many characters from past movies and shows (Cobb Vanth, Bo-Katan, Ahsoka Tano, and even Boba Fett himself). With this series, the connections are definitely there, so it’s possible, though if the Boba Fett series takes place around the time of The Mandalorian, it is another nine years after Return of the Jedi, which makes that then 23 or so years after Solo and you’d have to start aging Qi’ra up quite a bit.
Following the same logic, the next big contender would be the third season of The Mandalorian, which is about to start filming soon for (hopefully) a debut next year. And once again, after that show re-introduced us to so many characters, who could be next? Even putting aside the comic, if Lucasfilm ever planned to do a follow-up to Solo to tell the story of Qi’ra, they could very well approach it the same way they did Ahsoka — have her featured in an episode of Mandalorian and then, if (once) it goes well, spin her off. The difference, however, is the fact that Ahsoka Tano is Dave Filoni’s baby, who is an executive producer and director on Mando. There are no creative minds from Solo working on that show. In any case, it is still a possibility, however unlikely.
If Lucasfilm were to bring Qi’ra back to live-action, the most likely bet right now is Lando. And even then, this is a wild card. Right now, we know nothing about this show beyond the fact that the creator of Dear White People is handling it. Back in December, there were no actors signed on to do it (including neither Donald Glover or Billy Dee Williams), and here we are, six months later, still nothing.
Many fans have made the popular speculation (and it’s really not the wildest of ideas) that the show will be Billy Dee’s Lando flashing back to his younger years while traveling around with Naomi Ackie’s Jannah. Kind of a How I Met Your Mother in space, with Donald Glover playing the younger version. This show, out of all of the ones planned, is the one that has the biggest potential to test the waters for a Solo follow-up, whether it involves Qi’ra or not. Besides, if they are going to have Billy Dee Williams back, they probably want this show filming as soon as possible, so we could be hearing more about it soon. Of course, this is pure speculation for now.
In the end, we will just have to wait and see. The next issue of War of the Bounty Hunters comes out on July 14, and maybe by then the story will have totally changed once again. Make sure to come back for every piece of news related to this crossover and all of your favorite Star Wars content in general.