Charles Soule is getting ready to enter the next phase of his trilogy for Marvel comics. December 1st sees the beginning of the middle chapter in Star Wars: Crimson Reign, following the conclusion to War of the Bounty Hunters. We’ve been treated to a lot of little details about the series so far, including page previews from issue #1 and a few more specific story details during the online charity event Podathon. Soule recently sat down for a new interview to discuss several burning questions regarding Qi’ra, Crimson Dawn, and even teased the next arc for his main Star Wars series.
Ever since Qi’ra was brought back after 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, it’s been somewhat of a mystery as to why. Answering that question for Comic Book Resources, Soule talked about how some characters have more story to mine than others, saying the following:
“Some have more meat on the bone than others, and for some, it’s about finding the unexplored era of their lives, drilling down on one set of moments we haven’t yet seen. (That said, you need to be smart about that too — I’m not sure Luke’s life on Tatooine pre-Episode IV is something fans are clamoring for — though I could be wrong!) When you look at it through that lens, Qi’ra is an absolutely perfect character to revisit and build big stories around. She has strong connections to many signature characters from both the Prequel and Original Trilogy eras, there’s a defining on-film appearance by Emilia Clarke in Solo.”
Three years later, we are here. Crimson Dawn is back and rising to power. Whatever Qi’ra’s plan may be to continue their ascent back up the pecking order of the Star Wars underworld, she has assembled a who’s who of characters from around the Star Wars galaxy. Among the lot, the most curious inclusion has to be the Knights of Ren. Immediately, questions soared. Are they part of Crimson Dawn? Soule said frankly:
“Ren and the Knights of Ren are not part of Crimson Dawn. They are working with Qi’ra and her people, to achieve a shared goal. Ren’s not much of a joiner.”
During the Podathon mentioned above, Soule talked a little bit about the role the Knights of Ren will play in their issue. Each issue of Crimson Reign will focus on a small part of the larger mission Qi’ra has. About the structure of the series, Soule said the following:
“Crimson Reign has an interesting structure. It’s five issues long, and in each issue we learn more about Qi’ra’s overall plan by focusing on a specific mission she sends her teams on, with each serving as a spotlight for one group or another. So, in Crimson Reign #1, Chanath Cha and the Orphans get the spotlight. There’s one about the assassins, another about the Knights, etc. Qi’ra wants (among other things) to throw the galaxy into chaos, and these people are uniquely suited to help her do that.”
We’ve known for a while that Qi’ra’s plans will bleed over into the other ongoing series, which is made up of Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra, Bounty Hunters, and Charles Soule’s Star Wars. What we didn’t know for sure was if this part of the story or next year’s Star Wars: The Hidden Empire, would be as widespread of a crossover as War of the Bounty Hunters was. Soule had this to say:
“War of the Bounty Hunters was a full-on crossover, with direct tie-ins. Crimson Reign (and The Hidden Empire) are more like state changes for the Star Wars galaxy — during them, Qi’ra’s activities will cause a lot of other things to happen for the various factions, but it’s not as direct as it was in War of the Bounty Hunters, where all the books were essentially telling one huge story. Qi’ra will definitely be popping up, though — she’s all over my Star Wars book with Ramon Rosanas, for example. There are Crimson Dawn elements in Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra, and Bounty Hunters.”
It will be nice to have each series on its own again, getting their own time in the sun. Soule mentioned Ramon Rosanas, who was the artist for Star Wars #18, which saw Qi’ra and Leia discuss their relationship with Han. You can check out the review of that issue here.
Soule was also asked about his plans for his Star Wars series, talking about how he wants to push the characters closer to their starting points in Return of the Jedi. He said:
“Luke still has a lot to learn about being a Jedi. Lando’s not quite a Rebel hero yet. Even the Alliance itself is still struggling to pull itself together after its near-destruction at the Battle of Hoth. I’m doing spotlight issues for the next few — we just got a Leia/Qi’ra issue in Star Wars #18. Issues 19-20 will focus on Luke. Issue 21 is about Shara Bey (Poe Dameron’s mother).”
Crimson Reign #1 is out December 1st, and Star Wars #19 is out a week later, on December 8th.