In the newest Star Wars comic titled Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters, it’s revealed that the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn actually has a lot of common things with HYDRA from Marvel Comics. So let’s explore the whys and hows in this article.
This Star Wars comic focuses on getting Han Solo’s frozen carbonite body once it gets stolen from Boba Fett before Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. And the secret organization that’s mentioned in this story is Crimson Dawn.
It is a criminal organization that’s featured in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Now, they have re-emerged and are led by Han’s previous love interest Qi’ra. She says that Crimson Dawn has stolen Han and wants to auction him off to any of the factions wanting revenge on the smuggler.
Let us talk a little about Hydra. The organization is most famously known for showing up first in the MCU first in Captain America: The First Avenger. But in the comics, they were first introduced in the Strange Tales #135 comic by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965. It’s a terrorist organization that was started by Red Skull, a nazi agent during World War 2.
But the organization has survived the end of the war and has lived through the decades to repeatedly return and try to dominate the world. Also, its most famous leader isn’t just Red Skull, but also Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. HYDRA has had multiple notable members throughout its existence and this even includes Captain America as well during the Secret Empire comic event.
As for the MCU, we got to know during Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that HYDRA wasn’t defeated at the end of world war 2. Instead, they went underground and its members gradually infiltrated the U.S government from all levels.
In Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #14 by Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villanelli, Arif Prianto and Travis Lanham, bounty hunters Dengar and Beilert Valance are getting followed by Deathstick, a Crimson Dawn assassin. So they take refuge with Mama Stammoch, an armed ally. There they learn about Crimson Dawn and its history.
They get to know that Crimson Dawn got started as a part of Shadow Collective when the Clone Wars were happening. But after Mandalore’s siege, many of the crime syndicates shifted their operations underground. But Crimson Dawn was the one that came back and wreaked havoc completely on the Outer Rim. After Dryden Vos’ death in Solo, she says that the syndicate vanished.
But she doesn’t end here. Instead, she says something ominous:
“Some say the Dawn never truly left…lying in wait…for something BIG.”
So this along with the fact that Crimson Dawn is now being led by Qi’ra, does evoke Marvel’s Hydra in some ways. for one, just like how HYDRA survived the defeat of the Nazis and went underground, similarly, Crimson Dawn did too. They survived after the end of the Clone Wars and the defeat of the Shadow Collective.
Not to mention that the syndicate even endured the death of its founder Darth Maul as well as key figurehead Dryden Vos. Secondly, HYDRA’s motto is, “If a head is cut off, two more will take its place.” This means that the organization will live on no matter what, and if one falls, others will rise up.
Qi’ra has done the same with Crimson Dawn. So it can persevere without any of its initial founders or leaders. As per Mama Stammoch’s retelling, Crimson Dawn seems to have a mythical reputation. But actually, it is secretly influencing the entire galaxy’s underworld. So there’s truth to the fable.
Right now, we don’t know what will happen to Qi’ra, but the canon reference novel titled Star Wars: Smuggler’s Guide says that Crimson Dawn was able to survive even after the fall of the Empire and even into the New Republic time. So, it seems that just like with HYDRA, Crimson Dawn can’t ever be fully eradicated and they will continue unleashing chaos and terror for more decades.