Earlier today we learned (or confirmed depending on which side of the pundit fence you sit) that the Star Wars property would be returning to Marvel when the Dark Horse/Lucasfilm contract expires in 2015.  There’s only one more year of Star Wars comics from Dark Horse Comics, and founder Mike Richardson has a thing or two to say about the situation.

The End of an Era

mike-richardson-1303164426All 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.

Mike Richardson

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

Previous post

NEWS: Star Wars making the jump back to Marvel in 2015

Next post

Critical Hit #231: Time for Some Action...

6 Comments

  1. January 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    Well, it had to happen, but I can’t help but to feel a little sad, that it’s the end of Star Wars for Dark Horse.

  2. January 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm — Reply

    And as per usual Stephen called it months ago.

    • January 4, 2014 at 11:54 am — Reply

      It was a no brainer from go. Not to cut Stephen down, but we all knew it was a matter of time.
      I for one am sorry to see the partnership end. I really enjoyed what Darkhorse did.

  3. Jon Burgers
    January 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm — Reply

    Very classy response by Richardson.

  4. Andrew
    January 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm — Reply

    “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.” is a backhanded jab at Marvel’s Star Wars. Unlike Dark Horse, Marvel was VERY restricted as to what they could and couldn’t do with Star Wars even after Jedi. Richardson also forgets that Dark Empire started out as an Epic Comics mini-series. Dark Horse sure didn’t mind making a buck or two off of the badly executed Marvel comics though, did they? How many times did Dark Horse reprint them? Difference is, back in the day I couldn’t wait for my monthly dose of Star Wars. It was the only lifeline to get me through until the next film (the occasional Han Solo or Lando novel notwithstanding). I’ll take the David Micheline/Walt Simonson run over anything DH has done any day.

  5. Paul
    January 4, 2014 at 2:03 am — Reply

    I anticipated this the moment I saw Disney had bought Lucasfilm. It was inevitable that they’d want full control in-house for the property. Let’s hope the Fox and Sony film deals aren’t renewed either!

    I have to say a big thank you to Dark Horse for generating lots of great stuff to sate my Jedi cravings and I can only hope Marvel will carry it on.

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section