Should have seen this coming. Ending a relationship more than two decades old, Disney has informed Dark Horse the Star Wars licence will go to Disney-owned Marvel Comics in 2015. Or should I say "return to Disney-owned Marvel Comics", the original publisher Dark Horse took over the licence from in 1991. Disney purchased Marvel Comics in 2009, and then purchased LucasFilm in 2012. Comic book fans have been waiting for this particular announcement since then.
Dark Horse founder announced the loss of the licence in a heartfelt "End of an Era" message, promising a memorable final run with the franchise.
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.
At the same time, Marvel announced plans to publish Star Wars comics in 2015.
"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."
See? Carol said "lightspeed jump." Obviously Marvel has its finger on the pulse of Star Wars fandom. Everything is going to be fine.