|“||Once you're part of Crimson Dawn, you can't leave.||„|
|~ Dryden Vos|
The Crimson Dawn is a criminal organization that serves as the main antagonistic faction of Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well as a cameo antagonistic faction in Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was a criminal organization founded near the end of the Clone Wars, and would later be lead by Darth Sidious' former Sith apprentice Darth Maul for the purpose of furthering his agenda and dominance in the criminal underworld. Maul became the leader, while Dryden Vos, the original leader, became the public face of the organization.
Before transforming into a larger criminal empire, the forerunners of the Crimson Dawn were a band of ruthless mercenaries who traveled from planet to planet, seizing the resources they envied or required while brutally forcing the natives into compliance. One such planet was the desert world of Savareen, which possessed a resource that they desired. After several raids on their world, the Savarian people rose up against them, refusing to comply anymore. As punishment for their rebellious nature, the mercenaries cut out the tongues of every single man, woman and child they could find.
The Clone Wars
During the Clone Wars, Maul was abandoned by Darth Sidious who thought he was dead and he sought to reclaim his place as his apprentice. To do this, he decided to form a criminal alliance of his own to get his attention and managed to get the Death Watch, Black Sun, Pyke Syndicate and the Hutt Cartel to form the Shadow Collective and he would conquer the criminal underworld and become a powerful crime lord. Maul unleashed a reign of terror upon the galaxy and this got the attention of Sidious who traveled to Mandalore only to duel Maul, kill his apprentice and brother, Savage Opress, and take Maul prisoner for much of the war.
Towards the end of the war in 19 BBY, Maul made it back to Mandalore, but the collective had collapsed during his attempt back and he only had the support of the Death Watch on his side, while both the Black Sun and the Pyke Syndicate rejoined the now fragmented Shadow Collective, whereas the Crimson Dawn, lead by Dryden Vos, also joined the collective itself. Renegade members of the Death Watch fought a guerilla war against Maul and his reign over Mandalore and by the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic had invaded Mandalore and Maul was overthrown and captured, but not before telling the rest of the Shadow Collective to go into hiding to avoid the repercussions of the rise of the Galactic Empire in the midst of the siege. Even though Maul was captured, he escaped and fled into hiding.
The Age of the Empire
Sometime before 13 BBY, the Crimson Dawn quickly became a well organized and ruthless criminal enterprise, and would become known for ruthless efficiency. Maul would become its de-facto leader, but chose to keep himself hidden and relied on a figurehead to rule publicly and where the rank and file of the organization would answer to. This is where Vos, now the de-jure leader, came in and the organization was feared across the galaxy during the reign of the Galactic Empire.
- The name "Crimson Dawn" was conceived as a subtle way to hint at Darth Maul's appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which isn't revealed until the film's climax.