Ever since Solo: A Star Wars Story was released in 2018, many fans have wondered about the future of Qi’ra, whether Leia knew about her, and if the two characters ever met. The long-awaited meeting between these two characters has finally come to fruition in Star Wars #18.
As the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover draws to a conclusion and Crimson Reign is set to debut soon, this comic is a particularly vital moment for Qi’ra. The captivating conversation between Leia and Qi’ra reveals important information about Qi’ra’s character while also teasing exciting possibilities for the future.
What this meeting reveals about Qi’ra
The meeting between Leia and Qi’ra, fortunately, doesn’t fall into the trope of women jealously fighting over a man they both love. Instead, Qi’ra uses the meeting to forge a potential alliance with Leia and the Rebellion. This is likely part of Qi’ra’s plan to strike at Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, as hinted at in the end of War of the Bounty Hunters #5.
Qi’ra gains some trust by making it clear that she believes Han is better off with Leia and that Leia brings out the best in him. Qi’ra admits that she manipulates people while Leia inspires people and that each of them needs to embrace who they are. She also tells a story of bravery during Han’s childhood, explains the lengths she took to try to help Leia get Han back, and reveals that Han is alive and in Jabba’s Palace.
Qi’ra helps revitalize the hope that Leia lost after believing Han died in War of the Bounty Hunters #5 while planting the seeds for a potentially advantageous relationship. The end of Star Wars #18 hints that the story about Han standing up for what was right as a child might not even be true, but it doesn’t matter, as it was part of Qi’ra restoring the spark of hope within Leia. Qi’ra seems to genuinely admire Leia and wants what’s best for her, but is also being calculated about how to use a connection with Leia — and by extension the Rebellion — to her advantage.
While Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn have been off the galaxy’s radar for a while now, War of the Bounty Hunters put them back on the map when they capture Han Solo in carbonite and auction him off at a high-profile event. Now it’s clear that Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn are even more influential at this point than initially realized.
Qi’ra shares with Leia that Bokku the Hutt was in her pocket, as was the Imperial officer who allowed Leia and her friends to board the Executor. It was on Qi’ra’s orders that Bokku attacked the Empire, a move that led to Darth Vader wiping out the entire Hutt Council, other than Jabba.
Qi’ra burned some of her most valuable Crimson Dawn assets to try and help Leia get Han back. Bokku the Hutt and the Imperial officer risking so much shows the power of Qi’ra’s influence. This is especially true with Bokku, who by following Qi’ra’s orders, essentially signed his death warrant and the deaths of all the prominent Hutts save for Jabba.
What this meeting means for the future
Qi’ra is the one who tells Leia that Han is alive and in Jabba’s custody. She is also responsible to a certain degree for the Hutts attacking the Empire and the subsequent massacre of the Hutt Council.
Qi’ra will likely help Leia and her friends infiltrate Jabba’s Palace. Qi’ra has the criminal connections and the motivation to take out Jabba. Jabba is too cozy with the Empire and taking him out will lessen the Empire’s control in the criminal underworld.
Everyone who has seen Return of the Jedi knows that Leia and her friends succeed and Jabba the Hutt is killed. If Qi’ra survives, she can get what she wants as not only will Han Solo be free and with the people who are best for him, but the Empire will lose a major asset in the criminal underworld, and Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn can capitalize on the power vacuum following Jabba’s death.
If this comes to pass, it will be fascinating to rewatch Return of the Jedi knowing that much of what happens in the first act is engineered by Qi’ra and that she benefits greatly from it.
Unfortunately, Qi’ra is not guaranteed to survive until then, though. She has already made herself and Crimson Dawn an enemy of the Empire when she openly defied and fought Darth Vader in War of the Bounty Hunters.
Qi’ra’s current story is taking place in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Until the end of the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, Palpatine, Vader, and the Empire are still alive and in power, meaning that any attempt Qi’ra makes to destroy them beforehand must ultimately fail.
Many fans are hoping that Qi’ra will survive beyond the timeline of the original trilogy and will maybe even show up in the upcoming criminal underworld series The Book of Boba Fett. No matter what her fate is, there are still lots of Qi’ra stories left to tell as Charles Soule shared that War of the Bounty Hunters is only the first in a trilogy of comics about Qi’ra, the second part being Crimson Reign, and the third part of the series is called Hidden Empire.
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