Did you know that Marvel was the original publisher of the Star Wars comics? This was back in the 70’s & 80’s when the movies were a super commercial success. Dark Horse had bought the license for 22 years, giving us some great comics. Now the time is up, the franchise is moving back to Marvel in 2015.
How does all this impact the readers? There could be an upside as well as a downside to it all. The upside is the reboot could be well aligned to J.J. Abrams new movie Star Wars Episode 7, then again that could be the downside as well – they would use the comics to promote the movie and not necessarily do justice to the comic story arc. It would no longer be an independent run. The other major fear that is looming over all the fans is that Marvel may not be publish as many issues as what Dark Horse is currently publishing, about five every month. And what of all the progress and the various story arcs so, will Marvel just wipe the slate clean & start over? We will just have to wait for another year to see it. I’m only hoping they don’t have any lame crossovers like a Guardians of the Galaxy-Star Wars or even worse, an Avengers-Star Wars crossover.
Here are some statements issued by a few of the key people on the news:
Marvel press release which included the following quote from Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide:
Dark Horse Comics published exceptional Star Wars comics for over 20 years, and we will always be grateful for their enormous contributions to the mythos, and the terrific partnership that we had. In 2015, the cosmic adventures of Luke, Han, Leia and Chewbacca will make the lightspeed jump back to Marvel, to begin a new age of adventures within the Star Wars universe.
Marvel Publisher and President Dan Buckley added this:
We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Wars comic books and graphic novels. The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away.
Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson responded with the following:
All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.
For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.
It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of the Star Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.