This week, the official Star Wars website released a preview of Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1. These first pages of Crimson Reign continue the story of Qi’ra started in The War of the Bounty Hunters by Charles Soule. It’s an exciting and explosive first few pages, not just for the story of Qi’ra herself, but for it’s very first panels.
These panels automatically drop the reader into a new mystery. The very first panel beings with the interior of a building reminiscent of the inside of the huts on Ach-to. It is dated, AFTER THE FALL.
What is the Fall? Is it the fall of Crimson Reign itself? Or the Fall of the Empire? This line could refer to both, but I’m inclined to believe the latter.
There are at least two characters in this primitive looking hut, neither of which are shown. And thus starts the first mystery of Crimson Reign.
This isn’t the first time Charles Soule has used a frame story for his comics. One of his best issues of Poe Dameron used the same literary device. The end of the comic revealed the speakers to be none other than BB-8 and R2-D2.
I suspect the end of Crimson Reign will also give us a fascinating reveal on the framing characters. It’s clearly intended to be a surprise for the audience.
So what can we deduce from these panels?
First, there are at least two speakers. At least one of them uses the Light Side of the Force to turn on the Holocron.
Second, the Archivist of the holocron is an older woman, at least 20 to 30 years older than the younger version of herself when she is shown with Qi’ra.
It’s possible that this woman’s species doesn’t age the same as ours. However, I am guessing it is similar enough to ours.
We don’t know how much time has elapsed between the making of the holocron and it’s access by the unseen characters.
However, my guess is that the characters speaking are doing so about 20 to at most 40 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
So who are the mystery characters of Crimson Reign’s framing story?
Here are my guesses:
- Luke Skywalker and Lor San Tekka — these characters both traveled around and had an interest in Force objects such as these. Though it feels a little odd to have Luke going over a history he already lived through. Nonetheless, I can see this being about 20 years after ROTJ.
- Luke Skywalker and Ben Solo — again, the time line would be about the same. Luke may be showing Ben holocrons in general, and of course, some history of a time before he was born, of a woman his father knew.
- Rey and Leia — This could easily be later in the given time frame and Leia is showing Rey a holocron. Though the hut looks suspiciously like Ach-to, and I can’t see Leia returning there.
- Rey and Finn or another living Force User — This would be post TROS, and makes a good amount of sense to me. Both would be learning of a time period they are not familiar with, Finn is learning of holocrons.
- Rey and Ben Solo (as a Force Ghost or other entity). Granted, I don’t see this as too likely this soon after The Rise of Skywalker, but hey, it’s wishful thinking. However, the speech bubbles lead me to believe these are two living people present in the room.
- Alcida-auka and another Caretaker. It does look like Ach-to after all.
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