Dark Horse to lose Star Wars

Dark Horse has published 'Star Wars' comicbooks for the past two decades

Marvel will take over the publishing of new “Star Warscomic books, with Dark Horse Comics losing the licensing deal its had for over 20 years.

The rights to the sci-fi franchise will be handled by Marvel starting in 2015, giving Dark Horse the time to wrap up storylines in current series. Its first was Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s “Dark Empire,” in 1989.

Disney releases J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII” on Dec. 18, 2015.

The move to Marvel makes sense considering Disney owns the company. And Marvel is no stranger to the series, having published the first comic books based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy for nine years, starting in 1977. “Star Wars #1″ sold more than 1 million copies.

Dark Horse is naturally disappointed.

“All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals,” said Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson in a statement on Friday. “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.”

In August, Dark Horse announced “The Star Wars,” a new book series based on the first draft of George Lucas’ screenplay for “Star Wars.”

SEE ALSO: George Lucas’ Original Vision for ‘Star Wars’ Published as Graphic Novel

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.”

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