In Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #3, the mighty Darth Vader is impressed by a forgotten martial art that he struggles to defeat.
At the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story, it was revealed that Qi’ra took over the Crimson Dawn criminal organization after she killed Dryden Vos. Following that, Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn haven’t been featured much in galactic events, but now in Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #3 (by Charles Soule, Luke Ross, David Messina, Neeraj Menon, Guru-eFX, and VC’s Travis Lanham), they are major players once again.
After The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo’s carbonite-frozen body was the cause of all kinds of trouble. Jabba the Hutt wanted Solo’s body as a debt collection, the Empire wanted him for Rebel intelligence and Darth Vader wanted him to lure Luke Skywalker out of hiding. With all of that, Qi’ra saw an opportunity and stole Solo from Boba Fett while the bounty hunter was transporting him to Jabba. Then, Qi’ira invited every major crime syndicate to Jekara to auction off the frozen captain to the highest bidder. The auction was going well until Darth Vader showed up to crash the party.
Jabba the Hutt had just won the auction for a million credits when Vader announced that he was taking Solo for himself. After a bit of persuading and not-so-subtle threats, Jabba relented and allowed Vader to have Solo. However, Qi’ra had something to say about all of this. She didn’t care who took Han Solo, but she wanted to get paid, and when Vader refused, she decided to make him. It might seem like a bad idea to challenge a Sith lord, but Qi’ra proved to be a highly-skilled opponent.
She drew two electrically-charged nightsticks and attacked Vader with an ancient martial arts form called Teras Kasai. Qi’ra fought well, and Vader was legitimately impressed with her skill, calling it a pity to kill someone that used the ancient fighting form. However, because she had no skill in the use of the force, Qi’ra was at a severe disadvantage against the Sith Lord. Vader proceeded to choke her, but the skilled warrior deployed some small explosives from her weapon that sent Vader flying.
Free from his grip, Qi’ra connected her two batons into one and prepared to reengage the Sith. Unfortunately for her, Vader was done with the skirmish. He let out a massive Force-repulse that sent everyone present flying backwards. Qi’ra slammed into Han Solo’s carbonite block, and Vader was about to kill her when he sensed Luke’s presence. While he was distracted, a weakened Qi’ra made her escape.
The name Teras Kasi means “steel hand” and was a deadly form that took intense training to master. Known for its acrobatics and lethality, Teras Kasi allowed its practitioners to move at blinding speeds and, at times, anticipate enemy’s strikes. In fact, the form was developed as a specific way to combat the force abilities of the Jedi, which offers an explanation as to why Qi’ra was able to stand up to Vader as well as she did.
The martial art was not limited to hand-to-hand combat. It could be combined with weapons as well, including lightsabers. In fact, Teras Kasi’s most well-known practitioner was Darth Maul, who regularly incorporated the style into his fighting. Coincidentally, Qi’ra has a direct line to Maul’s training. The former Sith lord taught Crimson Dawn boss Dryden Vos, and Vos taught Qi’ra, who was his top lieutenant, before she killed him. Clearly, Teras Kasi was a formidable fighting style, and Qi’ra had considerable skill with it because of her stellar instructors, but it still wasn’t a match for the power of the dark side.