Robot 6

Dark Horse editor finds bright spot in loss of ‘Star Wars’ license

star wars omnibusWhile it was certainly inevitable, Friday’s announcement that Dark Horse will lose the Star Wars license after more than two decades to Disney-owned Marvel nonetheless left many longtime readers dismayed, to say the least. To those fans, Dark Horse Vice President of Publishing Randy Stradley points out a silver lining: “[If] Dark Horse must lose the license, this is probably a good time for it.”

“From my perspective, the upcoming films will mean less freedom to do what we at Dark Horse have always done best: expanding the universe,” Stradley, who has served as senior editor of the Star Wars line since 2002, wrote Sunday on his Facebook page. “With a new film scheduled every year, and a new television series, it is likely that there will be a lot of comics pages devoted to adaptations and direct spin-off stories in support of the films and TV shows. That’s not where my interests lie, and it has never been Dark Horse’s strong suit. That would be too much like real work to me. Probably, the coming years will be a great time to be a Star Wars fan (especially a *new* Star Wars fan), and I hope you all enjoy the ride, but I think I’m going to be glad to not be in the mix.”

Indeed, Marvel takes up the license in 2015, just as corporate sibling Lucasfilm prepares for the Dec. 18 release of of the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: Episode VII, which kicks off not only a new trilogy but a series of spinoff origin films that will together carry the franchise through 2021. Add to that the 2015 premiere of Star Wars Rebels, an animated television series set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

“I am immensely proud of all of the work that has been done by our many, many creators over the years,” Stradley continued. “I would urge you to channel your anger into thanks for them. Go find them — most of them are on Facebook — and tell them thank you. I guarantee all of them could benefit from a kind word right now. […] And, finally, I want to thank all of the fans for the years of support. Even if we weren’t always 100% successful, we always tried to give you more than you expected. It was your interest that fueled our creativity.”



This sounds like fuel to the fire to those rumors regarding the end of the expanded SW universe. A real shame, if true.

This is called being smart about things. It’s a pity that Dark Horse will lose the cash engine that allows them to do more unusual comics, but Stradley is almost definitely right about what the new era will mean. Goodbye, out of left field Star Wars comics, hello mediocre tie-ins akin to the boring Star Wars comics Marvel did in the 80s.

The Dark Horse Star Wars line has been one of the BEST comic book lines since the retool in 1999. I’ve enjoyed almost everything I’ve read, and I just wanted to thank you guys for the entertainment over the years. It was a fun ride.


Your assessment of the original Marvel Comics Star Wars run as “boring” could not be further from accurate. Have you actually read those comics or are you, perhaps, simply repeating an oft-spouted, but sadly unresearched internet opinion? While, certainly, not every single issue was outstanding, there is still PLENTY to love in that series — not the least of which is the phenomenal work by David Michelinie and Walt Simonson during the “in-between” period post-TESB and prior to ROTJ. Those are GREAT comics! Indeed, many elements that have become associated with the modern EU began in the Marvel SW run — not the least of which was Lumiya (Shira Brie) who set the entire “Legacy of the Force” novel series in motion! For that matter, let us not forget that Marvel Star Wars ESTABLISHED the EU! Also, Dark Horse Star Wars editor Randy Stradley himself began his long association with the franchise as the writer of perhaps the single best issue of that entire run! If you are unfamiliar with the series or just need a refresher to help you all the awesomeness the book really did have to offer, I encourage you to give a listen to the “Star Wars Monthly Mondays” episodes of our show over at, where we are currently in the process of capping off a glorious five-year run of in-depth coverage of Marvel Comics Star Wars with a look at the “oddball” stories that were published under the Marvel UK banner. Come join us! You’ll be glad you did.


Scott H. Gardner
co-host, the Two True Freaks! Podcast

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