After more than 20 years, the force is with Marvel once again.
Disney announced Friday that two of its subsidiaries — Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment — are working together on a series of new Star Wars comic books.
The brand’s first comics were originally published by Marvel in the ’70s, back before both companies had been acquired by Disney. In 1991, the license for the comics was purchased by Dark Horse, which has published the titles ever since. Now the rights have returned to Marvel, which plans to release its first new-new Star Wars comics and graphic novels in 2015.
Perhaps uncoincidentally, 2015 is also the year that J.J. Abrams’ yet-untitled Star Wars film is scheduled to hit theaters.
“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 Lucasfilm franchise publishing director Carol Roeder in a statement. “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.”
Meanwhile, Dark Horse will continue to publish Star Wars comics through 2014 — and the publisher’s founder, Mike Richardson, has promised that the company’s last run of titles will be “memorable.”
“It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever,” Richardson said in a statement. “For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond.” Maybe the rights to Spaceballs are up for grabs?