Star Wars Just Revived A Classic Villain From The '90s

Heads up, "Star Wars" fans (particularly those who grew up in the '90s) — the franchise has just revived a classic villain. It's admittedly a small bit of information for the time being, and could be nothing more than an Easter egg. Then again, it could blossom into something more significant, depending on how Lucasfilm decides to play it. At the very least, [redacted] is now canon again! That could mean revisiting, in some sense, a big period of storytelling from the franchise's past.

Warning: spoilers ahead for "Star Wars: Crimson Reign" #1. Proceed with caution.

Crimson Reign Brings Back a Big Villain

Marvel Comics recently released "Star Wars: Crimson Reign" #1. The issue takes place at the height of Palpatine's Empire and focuses largely on the Crimson Dawn organization headed up by Qi'ra, whom we met in "Solo: A Star Wars Story," as portrayed by Emilia Clarke. Just so we're on the same page (comic pun intended!) here is the synopsis for the new series:

AFTER THE DAWN ... COMES THE REIGN! The story that began with WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS continues here, in the second installment of a trilogy that will reshape the history of the Star Wars Galaxy during the Age of Rebellion. Featuring the return of beloved characters, shocking twists, epic feats of the Force and a story that will reach from Star Wars' darkest underworld all the way to the Imperial palace on Coruscant, Crimson Reign is a Star Wars saga like no other!

Indeed, beloved (or at least significant) characters did return! At least one got a big name-drop in the form of ... Prince Xizor. That's right! The main antagonist of the "Shadows of the Empire" era has returned, as Qi'ra mentions him by name at one point in the issue.

As we can see in the above image, Qi'ra is meeting with a group going by the name of Black Sun, as she is looking to expand the reach of Crimson Dawn in the hope of giving the galaxy's people more autonomy. The aliens she is speaking with appear to be Falleen, the same race as Xizor. As we can also see, Qi'ra mentions to pass her proposition along to Prince Xizor.

Shadows of the Empire

For those who may not be familiar, or perhaps for those who need a refresher, "Shadows of the Empire" was a multi-media initiative launched by Lucasfilm in 1996. It included a video game for the Nintendo 64, a novel, and a comic book series. They all told one big story, and it came at a time when "Star Wars" needed a little boost. Let's not forget that the special editions didn't come until 1997, and "The Phantom Menace" didn't hit theaters until 1999

As for Xizor, he headed up Black Sun, a criminal organization that operated during the Galactic Civil War. Xizor had amassed a great deal of power and influence, so much so that he was on par with Palpatine in that department. He was an adversary for our heroes across the various "Shadows of the Empire" stories, and one that wasn't necessarily roundly beloved. But his significance cannot be denied.

Disney, after purchasing Lucasfilm in 2012, relegated all of the previous stories outside of the movies and "The Clone Wars" non-canon, labeling them as "Legends" tales. So Xizor, up until now, was not technically part of the official franchise. This little mention, however, changes all of that. One has to wonder, is Dash Rendar, the main character of the "Shadows of the Empire" video game, far behind? Time will tell.

It's an intriguing development. Will this be like Thrawn where Lucasfilm has larger plans for him? Or is Xizor going to have a smaller role to play in the gran scheme of things? It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

"Star Wars: Crimson Reign" #2 is set to hit shelves on February 2, 2022.