The Walt Disney Company’s Lucasfilm has agreed a deal with Marvel Entertainment to create and publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels from 2015.
Marvel is taking over the exclusive rights to the comics from Dark Horse following the end of a partnership spanning over 20 years.
“All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals,” said Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson.
“It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of ‘Star Wars?’ That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen.
"In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of the ‘Star Wars’ comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.”
Marvel Comics published the first ever Star Wars comic back in 1977 which went on to sell more than one million copies. Dark Horse Comics then took it on in 1991 and published fan favourites including Dark Empire and Star Wars: Legacy.
"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.
Marvel Worldwide publisher and president, Dan Buckley added: "We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Wars comic books and graphic novels.
"The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honoured to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away."