Category Archives: expanded universe

Peter David’s Star Wars Infinities sounds way more interesting than any of the actual Infinities comics

Although I do love alternate universe stories, I was pretty disappointed in the three actual Infinities stories that Dark Horse put out back in the early ’00s: None of them really pinged me as being particularly interesting takes on the concept. Peter David’s, on the other hand…

Darth LeiaComic Book Resources has the skinny on the never-produced mini-series, which would have divulged from the movie timeline with the droids at Tatooine and ended with Leia ruling the galaxy – with Luke as her consort.

I gotta say, I was furious when Lucasfilm kicked it back. The whole reason I’d taken on the assignment was because I’d been told that Lucasfilm had effectively given us carte blanche. But then, after I drafted the outline, they turned around and said that the story had to end with Luke, Leia and Han triumphing over evil. In other words, it had to have the same exact ending as Star Wars. It’s a crying shame. The cover image to issue #2, with a close shot of Princess Leia in the Darth Maul face make-up glaring out at the reader, would’ve been killer.

CBR even got artist Nick Perks to mock up that cover, at right.

Explains a lot about why the resulting series’ ended up being so dull. What’s the point of an AU if you don’t go in the really weird directions? (As opposed to the downright laughable ones.) Fanfic, how you’ve spoiled us. (via)

Sorting out Marvel, Dark Horse and Star Wars

DarkHorse-MarvelIt’s been a week since the news went out that the Star Wars comics license will go to Marvel Comics for 2015, leaving Dark Horse Comics after a twenty-two year run. With the news on Tuesday that Dark Horse will be releasing a new series, adapting the unproduced The Clone Wars scripts for the finale of the Darth Maul storyline, we know that 2014 will still be a big Star Wars year for Dark Horse. Over the course of the past week, questions about the switch have started to get some answers, at least from Dark Horse:

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Dark Horse to wrap up Darth Maul’s arc on The Clone Wars

Clone-Wars-Darth-Maul-Son-of-DathomirWhile we’ve known that the “bonus content” being worked on for The Clone Wars wasn’t necessarily going to bring closure to the series, Lucasfilm told Newsarama that at least one of the show’s loose ends will be told in comic form this spring, giving a big finale both for Darth Maul and for Dark Horse Comics.

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir will be a four-part comic starting in May, based on unproduced screenplays. Newsarama interviews the writer, Jeremy Barlow, on what’s in store for this tale. With a title of Son of Dathomir, one might expect a return to the planet, and revenge against Darth Sidious, but Barlow also teases some more locales and characters as well, including a new one named Brother Viscus.

Newsarama points out that while this unproduced story arc is being told first in comic form, it doesn’t mean that it will only be told in this form. I wouldn’t take this as anything more than Lucasfilm simply leaving the door open, and not as a sign that it will be actually realized in animated form.

Although Newsarama is calling this storyline the series finale, the show’s “final arc,” there’s been some clarification from Lucasfilm folks:

The Maul comic is very cool, but it *wasn’t* the series finale. It was a 4-part arc that fell beyond what was already in production.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@infinata) January 8, 2014

Long story short: It wraps up the Darth Maul arc, but isn’t the show’s intended finale. Pablo also says it wasn’t intended for S6.

Marvel, Dark Horse and Star Wars: Creators take in comics changes, and what about reprints?

Dark Empire #1 - Dark Horse's first foray into the EU.Friday’s bombshell that Star Wars comics will be moving to Marvel may not have been a huge surprise, but it did elicit a lot of emotions in fans and pros alike.

Dark Horse’s Randy Stradley addressed the change Sunday, speculating that the changes coming due to Disney and sequels may result in less freedom to do the sorts of comics that they prefer anyway:

But Dark Horse must lose the license, this is probably a good time for it. From my perspective, the upcoming films will mean less freedom to do what we at Dark Horse have always done best: expanding the universe. With a new film scheduled every year, and a new television series, it is likely that there will be a lot of comics pages devoted to adaptations and direct spin-off stories in support of the films and TV shows. That’s not where my interests lie, and it has never been Dark Horse’s strong suit. That would be too much like real work to me. :)

He goes on to say that he’s “immensely proud” of what Dark Horse’s comics creators have done, and encourages fans to channel their anger into gratitude and thanks for them.

John Jackson Miller, who owes his own Star Wars tenure to Dark Horse, reminisces and thanks the company, as does Jason Fry. Heidi MacDonald at The Beat has weighed in, as have the fans at Eleven-ThirtyEight.

On the business end of things, The Hollywood Reporter’s Graeme McMillan weighs in on what the licensee change may mean for Star Wars comics. The numbers are not particularly encouraging – I was shocked that Dark Horse actually has a bigger share of the bookstore graphic novel market than Marvel. It’s not super encouraging at this point, but as I said Friday – Marvel has some very big shoes to fill, and they have to know it. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of product they end up putting on the table, and Dark Horse still has a year to show them how it’s done.

One thing that’s still in question – and has fans worried – is the state of comic reprints. Although Dark Horse has confirmed that digital comics will remain in a buyer’s cloud on their app, the future of print collections is less clear. A Dark Horse rep told Big Shiny Robot that reprints “would require Disney to purchase the original files directly from Dark Horse,” but what can Dark Horse do with them come 2015? Can they reprint – or recollect – the older material they produced under the license, or is anything not in print by the end of 2014 doomed? Is it all in the hands of the IP holder – that is, Lucasfilm? (Where are they in that statement, Dark Horse?) Is that why Dark Horse was able to reprint the old Marvel material from the OT days: because Lucasfilm gave it to them?

In short, if you’ve been waiting to pick up any Star Wars trades or omnibuses from Dark Horse I’d probably grab them ASAP. (As always, I recommend Star Wars Tales and Tag and Bink.)

What does Marvel’s Star Wars deal mean for Del Rey?

Del Rey (logo)While it was pretty easy to see today’s Marvel announcement coming, things are much less clear-cut when we’re talking about another high-profile Star Wars publishing licensee: Del Rey.

(I’m putting all issues of canon, continuity and the sequels aside for this post. Those are big decisions made at Lucasfilm, not by their licensees: We can discuss it another time. This post is solely about the franchise’s publishing rights.)

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It’s official: Star Wars comics will return to Marvel in 2015

Marvel Star Wars #1Marvel will take over the Star Wars comics license in 2015, StarWars.com announced this afternoon.

Marvel was the original comics home of the franchise, publishing Star Wars #1 in March 1977. There was plenty of speculation dating from almost the moment the Disney sale was announced that the license would return to Marvel. Dark Horse is the third-largest comics publisher, but Marvel is one of the big 2 – and perhaps more importantly, Disney also owns them.

Despite their history with Marvel, when Star Wars was beginning a renaissance in the early 90′s, Dark Horse was awarded the license. They’ve published a great many influential series over the years, from Dark Empire and Tales of the Jedi early on to fan-favorites like Legacy, Knights of the Old Republic and the new Star Wars series. Of the current ongoing series, Brian Wood’s Star Wars will end at #20, while Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko’s Legacy will end with #18.

I don’t know enough about Marvel to speculate on what they may do with the franchise, but it’s safe to say that Dark Horse was one of the more beloved licensees in fandom. They’ve always been willing to innovate and look outside the box, and there’s no doubt a lot of fear out there in fandom, no matter how expected this may have been. We’ve become very attached to the folks over there, from editor Randy Stradley on down, and it’s sad to see the end coming on that partnership.

Dark Horse“Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films,” company founder Mike Richardson said in a statement. “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.”

There’s no doubt that Dark Horse has changed the game and set a pretty high standard for a fandom that doesn’t take things lying down. Will Marvel manage to build on that success? Here’s hoping.

EUbits: New Rebellion-era miniseries coming from Dark Horse

Rebel HeistNews. Dark Horse revealed a new miniseries by Mind MGMT’s Matt Kindt, Rebel Heist, on Comic Book Resources last week. The four-issue series starts with a Han Solo issue in April and will feature art by Marco Castiello (Purge.)

Excerpt. There’s a bunch of Maul: Lockdown available at Random House’s catalog.

Interviews. John Ostrander and artist Jan Duursema are also on Comic Book Resources, talking Dawn of the Jedi, while Ostrander talks to Eleven-ThirtyEight.

Notes. John Jackson Miller has added production notes for Kenobi to his site.

The blogside. Abel G. Peña and Daniel Wallace continue their look at the Imperial Warlords at the official blog, while Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight asks fandom to stop trying to quantify everything.

Sword of the Jedi trilogy “may or may not happen”

Sword of the Jedi

Knights Archive spotted a comment by author Christie Golden on Facebook that seems to place the Sword of the Jedi trilogy in the same limbo as Paul Kemp’s duology.

Christie Golden said today that it “may or may not happen (don’t know yet.)”

The comments seem to be on a friendslocked post, and I debated over posting it… But it’s already out there, and fans really want to know about this trilogy.

In light of the upcoming sequel films, the status of the existing post-ROTJ storylines has been in question. Everything released since July’s Crucible has been set during ‘safer’ eras of the saga, during and between the first trilogies. It seems that LucasBooks has adapted a ‘wait and see’ method as regards the post-ROTJ releases that were announced before the Disney/sequel trilogy plans were made public. And with comments like this – and the Essential Characters cancellation – I don’t expect us to get any official info regarding these books anytime soon.

Star Wars makes an appearance at Yuletide

KarrdeputerYuletide, the annual rare-fandoms fanfic gift exchange, had a rule change this year that suddenly made it relevant to our interests – they allowed requests from lesser-ficed parts of large fandoms like Star Wars. So, for the first time, we’re seeing Star Wars fanfics among the offerings. 32 of them, in fact, including a whooping 13 X-Wing fics. Other requests included the Thrawn trilogy and The Old Republic.

EU-based fanfic has never been exactly rare, but it does tend to focus on the big ‘ships (ahem) so if you’ve been looking for something a little different, check out the listings. The authors are all currently anonymous, but will be revealed on January 1st, per Yuletide tradition.