Crimson Jack

Crimson Jack and crew (art by Carmine Infantino)

Crimson Jack, nicknamed “Redbeard” by Han Solo, was the Pirate Master of a gang of space pirates which operated in the Outer Rim. Although originally using gunships to carry out their raids, the pirate gang eventually discovered a crippled Imperial cruiser that had limped away from a battle with Rebel forces. After raiding the ship, Crimson Jack appropriated the craft for his own use, making his pirating operation much more formidable. To repair the craft, Jack received funding from Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, in return for a share of the profits. Spacers tell the story that, after restoring the Imperial vessel, Jack and his crew encountered smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, fresh from their participation in the Battle of Yavin. Upon bringing the Falcon aboard the ship with a tractor beam, Jack stole Solo’s reward that he had received from rescuing Princess Leia Organa.
Jack let Solo leave with a tracer placed aboard his ship, hoping that he might be able to pull the same caper on Solo at a later time. A short while later, Jack captured both Leia Organa and Solo, intent on ransoming the Rebel princess to the Alliance command. In an elaborate ruse, Solo and Organa were able to convince Jack that there was a Rebel treasury in the Drexel system. After arriving in the system, Solo and Organa managed to escape, when the ship-dwellers of Drexel attempted to pull Crimson Jack’s ship out of the sky. The threat of the ship-dwellers was eventually resolved, and Jack sent his Raider Squadron, led by his second in command, Jolli, to shoot down the Millennium Falcon.
However, Solo defeated Jack’s starfighters and crippled Jolli’s ship. Jack continued to pursue the Falcon, but Solo revealed that while on Jack’s ship, he had erased Jack’s navi-computer star charts, stranding his ship in the system. Solo and Jack agreed to meet in space, using a magnetic field, to negotiate the return of the star charts. During the encounter, Jack double-crossed the smuggler, ambushing Solo with his own men. However, Jolli, who had survived the encounter with the Falcon, turned on her captain for abandoning her after her craft had been disabled. Using Jolli’s distraction, Solo was able to escape the ambush. Facing Jack in one-on-one combat, Solo fired a blaster bolt through the man’s chest, seemingly killing him.
Given their sources, the accuracy of these stories’ details are questionable.


Jack’s fate in the original Marvel series is pretty indisputable. Han shoots him in a duel in space, and kills him. But, with so much of that series not even part of the EU/Legends, let alone the new canon, framing the details of that storyline as spacers’ gossip (possibly even started by Han himself?) allows for the inclusion of Crimson Jack.

Also, the original version of events had Jack finding his ship adrift after the Battle of Toprawa. Even before Rogue One changed the venue and details of obtaining the Death Star plans, that just didn’t make sense for him to have enough time to refit the ship in time to use it to capture Han and steal his reward immediately following the Battle of Yavin (these events taking place in the first post-movie issue of the series, #7), so it’s been changed to a generic “battle with Rebel forces” that set the ship adrift.

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