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.

14 thoughts on “It’s official: Star Wars comics will return to Marvel in 2015

  1. Colin

    I assumed Marvel was getting the license. I’m not excited about the new movies. Unless the EU is continued I’m not really interested. If it’s scarped or rebooted like the New 52 then I’ll content myself with the EU published before the current licensees lose their contracts.

    If Marvel announced that they will continue Legacy Vol II and the current Ongoing I’ll give them a chance. I’m sure we’ll get comic adaptations of the new movies.

    What it comes down to for me is Disney’s treatment of the EU. That’s make or break. Whatever else they do comes after in my decision weather I spend my money on Star Wars products.

  2. Lane

    Well, keep in mind that reboots don’t necessarily have to be the gigantic cluster#*$& of fail that New 52 was.

    It’s definitely a bummer that the folks we’ve gotten to know and appreciate from Dark Horse won’t be involved anymore. That said, Marvel’s been doing some excellent stuff with their own brand. If they put in as much care into Star Wars that they do with their own comics, we’ll see some great stories from them.

  3. Nancy K

    I’m sad and disappointed by the news, but not altogether surprised. It makes sense.

    The EU comics have been as much of a grab bag as the EU novels and there’s been a lot to love over the years. And the team at Dark Horse is great. I’ve definitely enjoyed talking to them at cons.

    Regarding Marvel, I’m still very “wait and see”.

  4. John Rozmiarek

    Just for the record dc did the 52 reboot that was really bad. It is sad for Dark Horse and they will be missed, but now we could have deadpool hunt jar jar binks.

  5. Dom

    and Star Wars returns to the folks who brought us Jaxxon the space bunny…

    I care less about the post-ROTJ EU, but I love Dark Horse’s KOTOR and Dawn of the Jedi stuff. I hope Disney leaves that alone.

  6. Pabawan

    “and Star Wars returns to the folks who brought us Jaxxon the space bunny…”

    you know those folks were off the book like, three issues later? The ones that stayed are dead now. But hey, good joke.

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  8. Dom

    Pabawan, of course, but Marvel published it. I’m sure Marvel today is different from the Marvel of 20 years ago, but when it comes to SW they haven’t done anything that makes one especially hopeful.

  9. Lane

    Yeah the entire landscape is different. From the art to the storytelling, comics have changed dramatically since Marvel last had the rights to the Star Wars IP. Also consider that the last time Marvel was working on Star Wars was prior to the sort of modern EU landscape set by LFL.

    If you want to compare the comic creating ability Marvel and Dark Horse, you’ve got to compare them in similar eras.

  10. Shadadukal

    As long as Dark Horse is allowed to reprint the comics they produced past 2014. There’s no way I can buy all the ones I’m missing in a year.

    At this time, it’s the only question I want answered in regards to this.

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