Even the Sith should be scared of Darth Maul’s Crimson Dawn, according to the Star Wars comics.
Solo: A Star Wars Story introduced audiences to a new criminal empire that competed with the Hutt syndicates and Black Sun. Crimson Dawn was a merciless criminal business, one of the most dangerous in the galaxy; and one of the most dangerous in the galaxy, currying favour with the Empire; – and thus being targeted by a proto-Rebellion.
Crimson Dawn had been formed by Darth Maul himself; according to a startling revelation, likely to allow his spies to reach near enough to the Empire to destroy it. The character was formed before the Galactic Civil War in the Dark Times, and it appears to have suddenly declined.
However, they have reappeared in Marvel Comics’ “War of the Bounty Hunters” event; led by Han’s ex, Lady Qi’ra, rather than Darth Maul; who died shortly before the original trilogy, as seen in Star Wars: Rebels. Darth Maul’s plan to convert Crimson Dawn into a force capable of challenging the Empire looks to be being carried out by Qi’ra.
In a planned “Crimson Empire” event, the tale of Crimson Dawn will be continued; with Qi’ra presumably making great use of the network of operatives; she has been discovered to have planted throughout the Empire.
Doctor Aphra #15, by Alyssa Wong and Minkyu Jung, demonstrates why the Dominion should be concerned about Crimson Dawn’s secret empire. Lady Qi’ra appears to have spent a significant amount of time collecting artefacts that may be used against the Sith; including those that even the Sith feared.
Lady Qi’ra Mentored Darth Vader Being Aware He Is A Sith Lord
Doctor Aphra discovers a fabled Thought Dowser; a relic from an old Force cult known as the Ascendant when she breaks into Crimson Dawn’s vaults. This technology permitted anyone to influence the minds of people around them; even if they were not Force-sensitive. It would be devastatingly effective in the hands of someone who is strong in the Force.
Lady Qi’ra, who is mentored by Darth Maul, is well aware that Darth Vader is a Sith Lord; and is probably one of the few in the galaxy who is also aware that Palpatine is a Sith Lord. She’s clearly spent a lot of time exploring the Force; uncovering things the Sith would rather she forget, and acquiring artefacts like the Dowser.
Even the Emperor may not be aware of it because he doesn’t include them in his dark side notes collected in the in-universe book Secrets of the Sith. Crimson Dawn poses a significant threat to the Empire, which the Empire is unaware of.
And it appears that Crimson Dawn is ready to make their move. The “War of the Bounty Hunters” has ended, bringing the “Crimson Empire” event to a close and allowing Qi’ra to join forces with the Knights of Ren; who, given the possibility of an ex-Jedi, might constitute a serious threat to the Empire. Crimson Dawn is becoming a key participant in galactic events, and the Empire should be afraid of them, as evidenced by Star Wars comics.