Officially announced on Starwars.com and Marvel.com today is the beginning of a new era of Star Wars comics. Beginning in 2015, Marvel will replace Dark Horse as the creator and publisher of Star Wars comics and graphic novels.
Personally, this is no big surprise. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012, the Mouseketeers had already been running things at Marvel since 2009; contributing to the Super Hero media flood of recent years. Since Disney prefers to operate within the family, or fam-opoly, it was only a matter of time before this transfer of creative license became official.
While being called a "homecoming" by Marvel and Lucasfilm (aka Disney), it is bittersweet for those of us who have long been fans of Dark Horse's treatment of Star Wars. Initially acquiring the license for Star Wars in 1991 from Marvel, Dark Horse published wonderful, well loved comics for Star Wars fans, young and old. Series like Dark Empire, Star Wars Legacy, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Republic have all significantly affected the Star Wars EU. Dark Empire was combined into a book series and Star Wars: Clone Wars was tied into the television Clone Wars show. Legacy changed my life as a Star Wars fan, and also delivered some of the best characters and stories in EU lore; dark, gritty Sith, Jedi, humans and aliens with flaws we could identify with set in a rich, complex universe far different than the Republic and Empire most were familiar with. My bounty hunter on SWTOR is named Deliah'Blue, and Darth Talon is by far the sexiest cosplay on my list to do (Reminder to self, go run a mile or something).
I look forward to seeing how Marvel continues the legacy, and spending far too much money on future comics. I mean, I've already spent a small fortune on the Dark Horse app on my iPad at this point. And while I'm willing to invest some hope into Marvel's handling of my precious Star Wars, I still have reservations about Disney's overall influence on my beloved universe.
That's a different rant though, and I've already written enough papers for school on that topic. Really, I have. I took a class called "Disney: Gender, Race, Empire" right before the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Blew my mind. Knowing what I know, I don't think anyone can blame me for my...well...worry.
I'm in a good mood today though (hooray pizza for breakfast!) so I've got some optimism to burn. Now, excuse me while I go find a Marvel app to download.