It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Disney announced this week that Lucasfilm will discontinue their licensing agreement with Dark Horse Comics in order to produce a new line under the Marvel brand. Marvel published a Star Wars series in the late-70s and early-80s that ran for 114 issues, but Dark Horse has had an exclusive license since 1991, publishing a huge number of books in the process and fleshing out quite a bit of the Star Wars mythos.
Dark Horse will continue to publish its Star Wars line for all of 2014. In a statement made after the news went public, Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse promised that they won’t use this as an excuse to slack.
“It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever,” Richardson also said. “For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond.”
Dark Horse publishes a number of multimedia related projects, including books on the Aliens/Predators mythology, the Hellboy series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and RoboCop. While this will take a chunk out of their market, it shouldn’t set them back too far – and it frees up talent to work on other interesting projects, which is always a good thing.