They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, but in some cases, it’s red. The first episode of The Book of Boba Fett, a spinoff of The Mandalorian, teased the possible inclusion of Crimson Dawn, one of the most feared and ruthless crime syndicates in the Star Wars universe. As Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) attempts to carve out his stake in the criminal underworld on Tatooine alongside Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), he’s attacked by a gang of mercenaries wielding energy shields and electric batons. The assailants are cloaked in red and black, similar to the appearance of Crimson Dawn.
Crimson Dawn was first introduced in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. The group was created by Darth Maul, the red and black Sith Lord fans will remember from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999). At the end of the film, he was cut in half and seemingly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, Maul made a surprise return in A Star Wars Story, complete with robotic legs and backing from Crimson Dawn. Initially, Maul merely relied on the Crimson Dawn as a tool to enact revenge on Obi-Wan and his former master Darth Sidious. But the fall of the Republic and rise of the Empire saw the organization accrue more power and become a formidable syndicate in their own right. Ultimately, Maul was killed during a duel against Obi-Wan, but Crimson Dawn continued under the reign of his lieutenant Qi’ra. The assumed timeline of The Book of Boba Fett would pick up here, with Maul long dead and Qi’ra in charge.
Played by Emilia Clarke, Qi’ra was first introduced in A Star Wars Story. She hasn’t been seen onscreen since the 2018 film, but her story has continued in Marvel's Star Wars comics. She’s a formidable enemy, having orchestrated an all-out war between the rival syndicates. She accumulated great influence in the later years of the war, and as Slash/Film notes, the dissolution of the Empire could have only made her stronger. Qi’ra also has a history with Boba Fett. After Han Solo — her former love interest — was frozen in carbonite and placed in Boba Fett's custody, Qi’ra and the Crimson Dawn were able to steal Han back and use him as leverage to accrue power. Though Fett was eventually able to retrieve Han and save his reputation as a feared bounty hunter, he didn’t take their interference lightly. Qi’ra was last seen on her way to recruit the Rebel Alliance for an unknown purpose in "Crimson Reign.”
In the current Star Wars timeline, Boba and Qi’ra have never met. But given The Book of Boba Fett’s focus on the galaxy’s criminal underworld — and the setting on Tatooine, where Crimson Dawn was founded — it feels extremely likely that they could cross paths. There’s also another, more subtle clue fueling this theory: As pointed out by Screen Rant, The Book of Boba Fett’s theme song integrates some of the theme music used for Crimson Dawn in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Whether or not Qi’ra ever makes an appearance, it seems clear that the Crimson Dawn will become a problem for Boba.