Fri
Jan 3 2014 1:48pm

Disney Moves Star Wars Comics From Dark Horse to Marvel

Dark Empire 2 cover, Dave DormanNow that Disney owns Lucasfilm, they are continuing to make moves that shore them up for the release of the upcoming film trilogy. Because licensing is now up with Dark Horse, an announcement has been made that Star Wars comics are now moving to Marvel Comics (which Disney also owns). 2014 will be Star Wars’ last year with Dark Horse Comics.

It’s the end of an era, to be certain. Among many fan favorites, Dark Horse was responsible for the Dark Empire arc, which saw the introduction of Anakin Solo and Luke’s brief turn to the Dark Side, where he was saved by his sister, Leia.

With no more Star Wars books scheduled for release with Del Rey, it seems likely that an announcement will come from them by the end of 2014 as well. The companies that have put so much love and care into pursuing and creating the Expanded Universe will no longer be involved in the process of creating new entertainment for Star Wars fans.

Will Disney disregard the continuity of these books and comics entirely? It seems likely, given that the new trilogy is rumored to take place during the exact time period that many of these adventures took up. Which means that along with moving their license, Disney is effectively killing off an a few encyclopedias worth of characters, worlds, and events.

The real question becomes: Is there anything they will bother to hold onto? The early Sith tales or Revan’s journey in The Knights of the Old Republic? Will they keep anything tied into the prequels or ignore those as well? After this move, we will begin to see how everything unfolds under Disney’s rule.

20 comments
Margot Virzana
1. LuvURphleb
Curse you, Disney!
I loved you as child, exploring with Pocohantas, running with Simba and reading with Belle.
But this is the last straw!
Star Trek has been decimated by Abrams, Lucas spit on his legacy with the prequels and now you take away my books!?
Fierfek!
My heart is broken /(
vjj
2. vjj
Imagine how loathsome a Star Wars comic book series would be if written by Brian Bendis and co-written by George Lucas. The horror...
Dave Thompson
3. DKT
I can imagine several popular Marvel writers that might make this worthwhile: Mark Waid, Kelly sue Deconnick, Mike Carey. Even Bendis could be interesting.

(Of course, if they really wanted to have some fun, they could try and entice Joss Whedon or BKV back.)

Yeah, I'll go ahead and say this could be pretty interesting. I am curious what the state of the continuity will look like after this. But I'm guessing with the new movies, this is just a new chance to completely kickstart it. Which is a bummer for people deeply invested in the current continuity, but will probably attract a bunch of new folk to it. And also, the differing continuities only make it all the more mythic, IMO.
jeff hendrix
4. templarsteel
Shouldn't the banner say Disney moves Star wars comics from Dark Horse back to Marvel?
vjj
5. Colin R
Continuity complaints are interesting--not only did Marvel have Star Wars comics back in the 80s, but they were practically ignored by people writing in the 90s. It was only in the last ten years or so that people have started to try to fold that stuff back into continuity. And really, most of it wasn't that bad! There were some straight out legendary people working on that stuff.

I guess my question would be, does it matter? A lack of continuity hasn't proved a problem for franches like James Bond or Conan the Barbarian. I'm sort of in awe of guys like Leland Chee whose entire job seems to consist of sorting all this stuff out, but I mean... does it even matter if Dark Empire is in continuity or not? Star Wars is such a sprawling mess anyway.

I doubt we'll see Matt Fraction's Star Wars, but I'd totally read that and I would not care what continuity it was in.
Sky Thibedeau
6. SkylarkThibedeau
I remember collecting the old Marvel Comics. Jabba the Hutt was a humanoid alien very thin. Darth Vader's apprentice was a Woman named Shira Brie who became the Dark Lady of the force Lumiya.
Anthony Pero
7. anthonypero
I have resigned myself to the death of the current EU. Yes, I realize that the continuity, if it can be called that, is rife with both errors and retcons... but a LOT of work went into those retcons, and I've been following along since Heir to the Empire was released. They've even tried to find ways to bring in the old stuff from the 80s into the fold.

HOWEVER

IF Disney takes this opportunity to develop a new continuity, and sets out from the beginning to make it all work together, like with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then that could be quite awesome. If thats what I get out of the death of the current EU, the birth of one that ctually makes sense? I can be ok with that. Call it an EU reboot. But they need to ANNOUNCE it. They won't until current licensing is up though, because it would kill the stuff already in the pipeline deader than sin.
vjj
8. Nic Vinson
So I can officially disregard the horror that was the New Jedi Order, now?

Excellent...
Alan Brown
9. AlanBrown
I have great faith that there is someone in the Marvel stable of writers and artists that will do a great Star Wars comic.
Just like I have faith that Disney will do a good job with the new series of movies.
I loved the Dark Horse stuff, but don't mind seeing a new approach, tied into the new movies.
vjj
10. T.
I read this last year over at Blue Sky Disney. It seems that the company is consolidating its business which only makes since from their point of view.

I want to know if their going to publish more Indiana Jones comics please!
Shela Killian
11. Skillian
I just got this weird image of a primped and glittering cast gliding in perfect unison across a hockey rink. Star Wars the musical on ice. Nothing is impossible if you believe.
vjj
12. glorbes
I've read a good chunk of the EU stuff, and am (or was) enjoying the Brian Wood SW comic from Dark Horse (and am loving the hell out of "The Star Wars"), but I will not decry the loss of continuity. The material stands for itself, some of it is good, most of it is not, and all of it is one hot mess already. If Lucasfilm in its current incarnation picks and chooses the good stuff, all the power to them.

I like the original Transformers cartoon, but also like Transformers Prime...I like the IDW Transformers comics, and am at peace with the fact that NONE of these incarnations have any sort of continiuty. The worlds and the ideas are there, and talented people are riffing on them and generating stories that I dig. If Star Wars can do the same, I'm game. And as far as I'm concerned, they HAVE been doing that for years.

Now, Disney swallowing everything that I enjoy in pop culture? That's a different matter.
vjj
13. Luther Bliss
First World Problem: Lack of continuity as mega-corps swap around IP rights of fictional worlds.
vjj
14. Tumas
While practically inevitable once Disney came to own both Star Wars and Marvel, I'm still a bit sad about this. While a part of Star Wars comics coming out of Dark Horse ranged from 'meh' to 'good', the care they took with the property was evident in gems like Dark Empire, Crimson Empire, Legacy, Knights of the Old Republic and Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison. The only thing that worries me is that Marvel have a lot on their plate right now with their own franchises and won't give Star Wars the attention needed to give us great stories outside Episodes VII-VIII-IX tie- and cash-ins.

@13: First World problems indeed.
vjj
15. Nathan Carson
I would hardly call Dark Horse a mega-corp.

Also, LOL at poster #1 who uses Pocahontus as any sort of measurement of quality.

I also grew up on the 70s/80s Marvel comics and still have most of them. There were newspaper comics too, which Dark Horse eventually reprinted.

It's a blow for Dark Horse to lose such a major license. But who can possibly blame Disney for cutting out the middle man? It's just smart business. Hopefully something good comes out of it.

Have any of you been reading THE STAR WARS? It's currently at issue #3 and tells the story of the first film based on Lucas' original first draft screenplay. Han is a green-skinned alien, and Luke Starkiller is the hero. It's a really fun alternate version for us old-schoolers.
Alan Brown
16. AlanBrown
I myself like Disney absorbing Lucasfilms and Marvel, at least at this point in history. Disney has been doing a good job with their intellectual properties lately, and now a lot of my favorite stuff is now under a single umbrella.
Gilmoure Gylbard
17. Gilmoure
Heh. I still have my original Star Wars comics from the '70s, from Marvel. Not the best artwork then but still some good storytelling.

Currently, The Star Wars has been a great run. Love it!

Wondering what's going to happen to current Star Wars, occuring right after BoY. They are definately spinning out some neat story lines and it'll suck if it has to be wrapped up too quickly.
vjj
18. 2nihon
I've been a big fan of the EU books, but the quality of the books and comics just aren't consistent enough. For every Thrawn book, there's a 'Courtship of Princess Leia'. Dark Empire was a terrible comic series (unimaginative and unfaithful to the characters), and Dark Empire II was worse. I've stopped after 'The Black Fleet Crisis' and after detouring through all of the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian books, I'm not sure if I have the strength to continue on.

If Disney/JJ create a new post-RoTJ universe that completely blows me away, better than my wildest dreams, great. If not, I'll just shrug them off like I do the prequel trilogy and go read/watch something else.
vjj
19. tombrevoort
"I can imagine several popular Marvel writers that might make this worthwhile: Mark Waid, Kelly sue Deconnick, Mike Carey. Even Bendis could be interesting."

Please tell me you're joking. The editors will immediately jump at the cash cow factor and cross them over with Iron Man, Avengers and the X-Men. Simple writing style so 7-year olds can understand it because these books are being marketed towards kids at high price points.

Which is ironic because the original Marvel Star Wars series never had a single crossover with Spider-Man or any Marvel character in its long, successful run.
Alan Brown
20. AlanBrown
They never did the crossovers before, but they will do it now? And Marvel, which generally writes for an older audience, will suddenly shift course and write for 7 year olds? What leads you to leap to those conclusions? Are you joking?

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