Qi'ra is the deuteragonist of Solo. Growing up on the streets of the shipbuilding world of Corellia during the reign of the Galactic Empire, she was enmeshed in a life of crime, working for a local gang before becoming part of the Crimson Dawn. During her life on Corellia, she became romantically involved with Han Solo.
Qi'ra tried to escape off Corellia with Han, using a stolen hyperfuel coaxium as payment for passage on an outgoing transport, but was apprehended while Han got away. Qi'ra would not see Han again for three years, and in that time she became a member of Dryden Vos' criminal syndicate known as the Crimson Dawn. On Vos' orders, Qi'ra joined Han, Chewbacca, and Tobias Beckett in a heist to steal unprocessed coaxium from the mines on Kessel, following a previous failed heist on the planet Vandor. To procure a ship for the heist, the team hired Lando Calrissian, captain of the Millennium Falcon. After reaching Kessel, the team infiltrated the mines with Qi'ra posing as slaver delivering Han and Chewbacca as slaves. Lando's droid, L3-37, instigated a riot to keep the guards occupied while they stole a consignment of unprocessed, volatile coaxium. The team successfully escaped on the Falcon, thanks to Hans prodigious piloting skills, and delivered the coaxium to the planet Sareen in less than twelve parsecs.
Upon arrival however, Han planned to sell the shipment to the Cloud Riders, who were in fact a rebellion group led by Enfys Nest. Han and Qi'ra tried to deceive Vos with fake coaxium, but he saw through their cunning plan thanks to his "inside man", Beckett. However, it is later revealed that the fake coaxium is real, and it was all a ruse to lure Vos' men into a trap. Beckett took Chewbacca hostage and escaped with the coaxium. Han, Qi'ra, and Vos engaged each other in a gunfight, resulting in Qi'ra killing Vos. She then urged Han to help the Cloud Riders and rescue Chewbacca, insisting she would join him shortly. After Han left however, Qi'ra sealed the room. Alone aboard Vos' yacht, she contacted Vos' superior who was revealed to be Maul. Qi'ra informed him of the mission's failure and assumed Vos' position. Shortly after rescuing Chewbacca and killing Beckett, Han saw Qi'ra leaving in Vos' yacht.
Star Wars: Crimson Reign and War of the Bounty Hunters
In the canonical comic book series Crimson Reign and its predecessor, War of the Bounty Hunters, published by Marvel Comics, it was revealed that Qi'ra became the new head of Crimson Dawn after Maul's death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. She would eventually get her hands on the frozen body of Han after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, attempting to auction him off to the highest bidder as a means of heralding Crimson Dawn's return to the spotlight in the galaxy's Criminal Underworld. Leia, Chewbacca and Lando would attempt to stop her, only to run afoul of Darth Vader, who himself wanted Han as bait to lure in his son, Luke Skywealker and capture him. Qi'ra would duel Darth Vader on even terms for a time during the incident, but eventually was overwhelmed by the Sith Lord's power in the Force, barely escaping with her life.
Later on, it was revealed that she had known all along that Vader and Palpatine were both Sith, and plotted to liberate the galaxy from them using hidden Crimson Dawn agents within every organization in the galaxy. Her war with Vader and the Emperor was subtle and brutal, and many times, she managed to outwit the Sith Lord or misdirect his hunt for her forces. She would even at times align herself with Leia to ensure the Sith would fall. However, as revealed in a holocron made by one of her subordinates, the Force-sensitive historian Madelin Sun, also known as The Archivist, revealed to the reader that Qi'ra's plans eventually failed.
- The name Qi'ra stems from George Lucas' early outline for the Star Wars sequel trilogy as it is phonetically similar to "Kira", the original name for the character Rey during the development of The Force Awakens.