Thursday 30 May 2013


WHAT IF.... Marvel had never surrendered the Star Wars license?

Now that Disney have bought Lucasfilm and announced an (over?) ambitious slate of new movies and TV STAR WARS projects, speculation is inevitably circulating that the comics license, long-held by Dark Horse Comics, will be shuffled to fellow Disney subsidiary Marvel.  I must confess, that was one of the first things that crossed my mind (see here) when I heard the news.

But - things could have been very different.  Marvel ditched the Star Wars license in 1986 on both sides of the Atlantic.  Although apparently still a moderate seller (but the long-term prognosis couldn't have been too healthy), the decision was made because working with the Lucasfilm licensing department had become so fraught it was no-longer worth the publisher's time.

Fast-forward to the 1990 MARVEL AGE PREVIEW (successor to the MARVEL AGE ANNUALS) and a sudden announcement that the Wars was back at Marvel.  STAR WARS: DARK EMPIRE was touted as a three-issue bookshelf format limited series to appear before the end of the year.

Someone - somewhere - was a little premature as the project passed from Marvel and settled at Dark Horse where it kick-started their SW publishing programme... and helped resuscitate interest in the moribund franchise.  The rest - as they say - is history.

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