One of the newest Star Wars books to land on shelves, Star Wars: Crimson Climb by E.K. Johnston fills in many of the gaps Solo: A Star Wars Story left between its prologue and main storyline.
Specifically, this book focuses on Qi’ra’s life in the immediate aftermath of her separation from Han at the Corellia spaceport. Though her time with the White Worms may soon be over, she’ll find herself close to death many more times before becoming the trusted lieutenant of Crimson Dawn leader Dryden Vos.
Once Qi’ra makes it to Crimson Dawn’s headquarters, she has to put herself in danger to prove her loyalty and worth. The more trustworthy she becomes, the more training she undergoes. Eventually, Vos begins to teach her Teräs Käsi — which we see her use later on in Solo when the group is on Kessel.
Teräs Käsi was a form of hand-to-hand combat that was originally developed to win against Force-sensitive opponents. Maul, practicing the fighting style himself, was actually the one to teach Vos, who in turn taught Qi’ra.
Not many in the galaxy practiced Teräs Käsi — the guards that served the Emperor during the reign of the Empire, and eventually the guards serving the First Order, wee trained in it, but it wasn’t common to come across someone skilled in this form of combat. This gave Qi’ra a unique advantage in her dealings with opponents and other crime syndicates.
The book showcases just how brutal learning this fighting style from Vos was physically and mentally, and adds a lot of complexity both to Qi’ra’s character and the dangerous relationship between Qi’ra and Vos.
Star Wars: Crimson Climb by E.K. Johnston is available now in physical, digital, and audio formats wherever you get your Star Wars books.
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