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Disney Ditches Dark Horse in favor of Marvel

Some things change and some things stay the same. It was announced today by Dark Horse Comics that Disney, the current holder of the Lucasfilm rights for the Star Wars mega-franchise, is not renewing the licensing with Dark Horse to continue to publish the Star Wars themed comic books. Instead, Disney is planning on keeping things in the family and granting the license to Marvel Comics starting in 2015.

Dark Horse has done a great job and brought comic and Star Wars lovers alike some awesome stories, whether they were the continuing adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han in Dark Empire and Dark Empire II or the more recent ongoing series, their take on the Star Wars universe will be missed. Although people are voicing concern over this based on Marvel’s treatment of Star Wars back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, I have a new hope that the return of the jedi will give everyone a chance to see if the Marvel Empire strikes back.

Take a read over the official blog post from Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson. Be sure to come back to Comic Booked for all your comic news and reviews and even some cool columns and craziness throughout this new year.

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.
Mike Richardson

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