*Note: Mild spoilers for War of the Bounty Hunters #1, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars Rebels.
War of the Bounty Hunters has been getting a lot of attention since the first issue came out this week (a prelude issue came out in May). The comic run will follow Boba Fett doing Boba Fett things post-Empire Strikes Back, including losing Carbonite Han Solo and fighting off other bounty hunters.
In the first issue, it is revealed that it was Qi’ra who arranged for Carbonite Han Solo to be taken from Fett in an attempt to “save her” from something…or someone. It has the canon junkies excited and has caused some more press attention because this is a character that was introduced in live-action and now their story is moving forward in the comics. Usually, comics are filling in the gaps between events in established characters’ lives that the audience is familiar with but this is new territory. We have no information on what happened to Qi’ra after she left on Dryden Vos’s yacht to meet Maul at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story. But now, Solo fans and Qi’ra fans are getting new content that is moving the character’s story forward instead of looking to the past.
But that is one of many interesting things about this publishing event that will dominate Star Wars comics for the next six months. People are focusing on Qi’ra but let’s take a look at some other things War of the Bounty Hunters might mean for Star Wars:
What this could mean for the Solo: A Star Wars Story corner of Star Wars
The “Make Solo 2 happen” campaign might finally be put to rest as elements that likely would have been in a second film are slowly seeping into other canon materials. I was going to do a Qi’ra centric post for my Whatever Happened to series because I truly believed we would see her again in a Disney+ series. Since she is attached to a major crime syndicate whose leader, Darth Maul, is dead by the time of the Original trilogy, it was almost guaranteed that we would see her if only to get answers on whether she was running Crimson Dawn or the entire Shadow Collective.
As for the Lando part of Solo, his story is supposed to continue in a Disney+ series but there has been no news on this since its announcement. Honestly, I am not sure that show is going to happen for several reasons: usually, if you announce a show at an event like Disney Investor Day, which was almost a stand-in for D23, you have your leads locked. That we are six months from the announcement of a Lando show and neither Donald Glover nor Billy Dee Williams has been confirmed is not the best sign. Also, after the fallout from Gina Carano that probably lead to the halt in the development of Rangers of the New Republic, Lucasfilm might be wary of having polarizing actors leading their Disney+ shows and that is what you are getting with Donald Glover. Plus he has an overall deal with Amazon, writing and starring in projects like a Mr. and Mrs. Smith reboot. Amazon seems to be giving their comedian partners like Seth Rogen and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who will co-star in the Smith reboot as the Mrs. and played L3-37 in Solo) creative freedom that Disney is just not going to give them.
The one creative attached to the project, Director Justin Simien, is now working on The Haunted Mansion film reboot for Disney which might be a consolation prize for the stalemate of the Star Wars series. The Haunted Mansion film already has the producing team behind Aladdin (2019) and the writer for the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife on board so it is further along in pre-production. Not to say creatives can’t do multiple projects at once but, if others are moving forward and one isn’t, eventually the last to get off the ground gets dropped. Rangers of the New Republic is already a casualty so time will tell if Lando will be as well.
What this could mean for The Book of Boba Fett
It is hard to believe that there was a time when fans were concerned that The Mandalorian was an attempt to overshadow, and ultimately replace, Boba Fett. Especially with failed attempts to get a Boba Fett standalone film off the ground, first with Josh Trank then with James Mangold. Fast forward a few years and not only did Boba Fett come back in a big way in The Mandalorian season two, but he also got a spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett which premieres in December and will see Robert Rodriguez as Executive Producer along with Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau. Now he is headlining a comic series, possibly transferring existing outline material from the proposed film to comic pages. Lucasfilm is all in on Boba Fett and, given the entire series is going to be a 34-issue crossover event with other comic series, some of the threads that will be raised in this run could play into the plot of the Disney+ series.
This brings us back to Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn. When we last saw Boba Fett, he and Fennec Shand had just taken over some part of what’s left of the Hutt crime syndicate. If The Book of Boba Fett is going to explore the Star Wars underworld further, Qi’ra could make an appearance in that series, and not in Lando as many assumed. Disney has been pretty good at keeping casting secrets (even though there were leaks for The Mandalorian) production secrets for The Book of Boba Fett have stayed secrets.
What this could mean for Lucasfilm moving forward
Over the past few years, Lucasfilm has consolidated its author pool. The High Republic team is doing a lot of heavy lifting across publishing and now they are a part of a massive comic initiative. Charles Soule will be writing the main comic War of the Bounty Hunters, teaming up with Greg Pak (Darth Vader), Alyssa Wong (Doctor Aphra), and Ethan Sacks (Bounty Hunters) for crossovers. Justina Ireland has also been brought in after the hit A Test of Courage and upcoming Out of the Shadows and will write a War of the Bounty Hunters: Jabba the Hutt one shot in July. Daniel Jose Older, the writer for The High Republic Adventures and the upcoming Race to Crashpoint Tower, will be writing the 4-LOM and Zuckuss one shot with Kei Zama in August. There will also be Bossk and IG-88 one-shots. Writers have yet to be announced for those but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Cavan Scott was brought on board. Lucasfilm appears to be happy with Soule with the massive success of Light of the Jedi and giving him reigns over material that could have implications for live-action could be big (even if Favreau is resistant to comics or novels influencing his shows). If the High Republic team gets more work outside of that era, then publishing can continue to level up at Lucasfilm. Perhaps we can get a Claudia Gray script for a Lost Stars film? One can always hope.
Even though her story continues in the comics, it is still possible we will see Qi’ra again in live-action. Emilia Clarke has landed a potentially big role in Marvel’s Disney+ series Secret Invasion (if you are familiar with those comics and who she might be playing, she could be in the MCU for a while); however, Disney is no stranger to moving talent within their brands as Poe Dameron himself, Oscar Issacs, is about to take on the role of Moonknight and Samuel L. Jackson is known for both Mace Windu and Nick Fury. And let’s not forget the ongoing push for Sebastian Stan aka The Winter Soldier to be cast as a younger Luke Skywalker.
War of the Bounty Hunters is just getting started so much more could be revealed in the next few months but it is great to continue to see publishing being elevated at Lucasfilm.
If you want to keep track of all the upcoming issues, you can check out the release dates and titles at GamesRadar+.