Dark Horse Ends 20+ Year Run Of Star Wars Titles as Marvel Takes Over In 2015
Marvel Set to Begin Publishing Star Wars Comics and Graphic Novels in 2015
This announcement was inevitable.
When news broke about Disney buying Lucasfilm, it was certain that we’d hear that Marvel Comics would be publishing Star Wars titles in the near future. The only question was “when was it going to happen?” Dark Horse still retained the publishing rights and Dark Horse Founder and President, Mike Richardson, announced that nothing would change in the near future.
Well, it seems that the near future has come to an end and today we got the answer.
Starting in January 2015, Marvel Comics will have the exclusive rights to create and publish Star Wars comics & graphic novels.
This ends a partnership between Dark Horse and Lucasfilm that lasted over two decades, but was an inevitable conclusion once Disney, who owns Marvel Entertainment, bought Lucasfilm in 2012.
Thus ends an era as a new one begins.
Dark Horse has a great track record for their handling of licensed properties. This is something that I hope the editors at Marvel Comics take to heart and execute properly. All the best and most creative talent that can be assembled won’t maintain a quality product without great editorial foresight and supervision.
The Star Wars license is a mighty ship; it needs a decisive captain to hold it’s course. Dark Horse had been doing it right for a long time and now it’s Marvel’s turn to show it can do the same.
- The Comic Book Critic
Marvel Press Release
DISNEY’S LUCASFILM AND MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT JOIN FORCES TO PUBLISH STAR WARS™ COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS
Jedi, Sith, and the rest of the Star Wars Universe
Come to Marvel Comics in 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 3, 2014) – The Walt Disney Company’s Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment are joining forces to bring new Star Wars adventures to readers across the galaxy, with Marvel granted exclusive rights to create and publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels beginning in 2015.
The agreement marks a homecoming for the Star Wars comic books. Marvel Comics published the first Star Wars comic book, Star Wars #1, in March 1977, which went on to sell more than 1 million copies. Marvel Comics published its Star Wars series for nine years. In 1991, Dark Horse Comics took over the license, publishing fan-favorite titles like Dark Empire and Star Wars: Legacy. Last year, Dark Horse released The Star Wars #1, an adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough-draft screenplay for the film, garnering rave reviews and national media attention and ranking among the top-selling Star Wars comics of all time.
“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,” said Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “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.”
“We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Wars comic books and graphic novels,” said Marvel Worldwide Publisher and President, Dan Buckley. “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.”
“We’re incredibly excited by this next chapter in the Star Wars saga,” said Andrew B. Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Bringing together the iconic Lucasfilm and Marvel brands to tell new stories will allow us to continue to thrill lovers of the original Star Wars comic books and entertain generations to come.”
Marvel has continued to push comic book publishing forward with innovations and experiments like motion comics and digital-only releases, in addition to its deep, ongoing catalog of monthly series and graphic novels created by some of the industry’s most gifted artists and writers.
STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dark Horse Press Release
The End of an Era
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.