When Disney acquired LucasFilms there was much talk about not if the Star Wars comics would be returning Marvel from Dark Horse but when would it happen. A press release sent out this morning confirmed that Marvel will begin publishing Star Wars comics and graphic novel in 2015. Full press release after the jump.

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.

It wasn’t just the Disney PR juggernauts that were releasing statements today though. Dark Horse Publisher and Owner Mike Richardson released a statement about the license leaving his company and going to Marvel.

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.

What think you Faithful Spoilerite? Are you excited to see how the House of Ideas will handle the Star Wars comics? Sad to see Dark Horse lose Star Wars, especially since they have multiple stories being published right now that have been met with critical praise? Let us know in the comment section below.

via Bleeding Cool

One thing will surely happen in 2015: Movie/comic tie in.

The Author

Zach Woolf

Zach Woolf

Zach is a recent college graduate who’s love for consuming media is surpassed only by his love for creating it. He has a firm belief that if we could all just play with LEGOs for 30 minutes a day the world would be a better place. If those two statements don’t tell you everything you need to know about Zach, follow him on Twitter at @zwoolf.

Previous post

VIDEO GAMES: Zach Plays Starbound #5 - Attack the Penal Colony

Next post

BUSINESS: Dark Horse Responds to Star Wars News

12 Comments

  1. Frank
    January 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    That is unfortunate. Dark Horse did an amazing job on Star Wars over the years. Marvel will be hard pressed to do as good of a job.

  2. January 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm — Reply

    I will have to wait and see. Dark Horse did very good Star Wars comics over the years, so Im a bit sceptical about this. If theres something positive to come out from this, its at least that Star Wars comics will most certainly be available from Comixology in the future. Its a good thing for people like me who dont live in the United States and comic book stores are nonexistent. Untill now, my only options have been collected trades or, to be honest, sub-par Dark Horse store app.

  3. joe
    January 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    I’m very surprised at how sad this makes me. I’ve been reading Star Wars books from Dark Horse since Dark Empire. And the new Brian Wood series is one of the best they have produced.
    I was 9 or 10 when Timothy Zahn’s books came out, soon followed by Dark Empire. It’s crazy to think now, but before that there was nothing new for Star Wars. It wasn’t that hip anymore. I remember the ewoks and droids cartoons, but those weren’t on par with the films. Dark Horse made amazing books that felt like real Star Wars stories. Marvel is making great books right now, and I’m sure that will continue but is a shame that this had to happen because of Disney’s evil empire corporate Goliath beast machine.

  4. Rob
    January 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm — Reply

    I think the burning question is will see the return of Jax?

    • January 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm — Reply

      Do you mean Jaxxon, the Lepus Carnivore (Lepi) from Marvel’s Star Wars comics? His race is EU canon, so even if we don’t see him specifically, others of his race have shown up since.

      Same with several other Marvel created aliens. In fact, there was a Zeltron in KOTOR II.

  5. January 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm — Reply

    I will wait and see what Marvel does with it. Sucks for Dark Horse though. I think we’ll probably see fewer Star Wars titles being published.

  6. Andrew
    January 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm — Reply
  7. Luis Dantas
    January 4, 2014 at 8:50 am — Reply

    Everyone involved seems to be acting with class and professionalism.

    While Dark Horse sure did an excellent job with the franchise, comparing Marvel’s 1970s-1980s Star Wars books with Dark Horse’s may not be entirely fair. Different points in time, different circunstances, different contracts.

    In any case, I believe this will be above everything else a good piece of news for Marvel. Not only will it get back a possible cash cow, but also a good reason for negotiating more daring creative contracts with writers and artists. The learning curse ought to help it in becoming more competitive and innovative in the next few years.

  8. January 4, 2014 at 11:49 am — Reply

    I am hopeful that Marvel will follow the successful lead that Darkhorse started with this property.
    Unfortunately, seeing what they have or haven’t done with the BOOM licensed properties,makes me think that they will drop the ball.
    My main wish is that the Lucas people retain control over Marvel so that we do not have 12 Boba Fett series’, 10 Darth Maul Series and nothing in the form of Luke, Leia, etc…

  9. Spiderlover
    January 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    This is sad but good news. I generally prefer things to be in the house where the ip is held.

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