In 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4.4 billion with the goal of re-launching Star Wars franchise. The first big step will be Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015. Since the purchase, Disney has been consolidating the various branches of Lucasfilm under the larger banner. While fans can currently read new adventures that take place in a galaxy far, far away with comic books from Dark Horse, the property will jump ship to Marvel starting in 2015. This comes to no surprise to anyone, considering Disney both own Marvel and Lucasfilm, and this is an attempt to keep Star Wars under the same corporate umbrella.
Marvel and Lucasfilm had a partnership at the very beginning of the Star Wars revolution. Back in 1977, the comics giant released the very first Star Wars comic, which sold over one million copies. The two companies continued their lucrative relationship until 1991, when Dark Horse started publishing new Star Wars adventures. While it’s unclear if on-going comic book series such as Brian Wood’s Star Wars, which takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, will continue in 2015, it’s unlikely that new stories will move from Dark Horse to Marvel.
If you take a look at what happened to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it’s pretty clear that Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm want a fresh start moving forward. The Clone Wars was a big popular success on Cartoon Network, but it was immediately canceled once the deal was done. From the ashes of The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels will rise. The new show features a majority of the production team and animators from The Clone Wars. Disney will likely do the same for the Star Wars comics and the Dark Horse writers and artists.
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.”
The next few years will be an exciting time for Star Wars fans. Rebels kicks off new episodes in October 2014, Marvel will begin to create and publish new Star Wars comic books at the beginning of next year, and, of course, Star Wars: Episode VII will open in theaters in December 2015. It’s only going to be a matter of time before Disney starts crossing over Star Wars with The Avengers. Are you ready for a new Iron Man Vs. Boba Fett movie?
Amidst rumors of a Boba Fett spinoff, Disney and Lucasfilm are fully focused on getting Episode VII off the ground. Production will start this spring at Pinewood Studios in London, England. While no actors have been officially cast, there’s a long list of actors who are rumored to be up for roles. As for Marvel, post-production has begun on Guardians of the Galaxy with the cosmic film expected to hit theaters in August 2014.