From 1991 to 2014, Dark Horse Comics churned out more than 100 different Star Wars titles. It adapted novels, helped define the Old Republic era, emblazoned much of the universe both before and after the movies, and helped define what used to be called the Expanded Universe. Now it’s going to tackle series’ canon, because the publisher’s been given the go-ahead to make Star Wars comics again.
These will be all-ages comics as opposed to the series targeted to teenagers and up Marvel has been putting out, including Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Doctor Aphra. Dark Horse joins IDW Publishing in the endeavour (although there have been recent rumours that IDW might be losing its control of the licence, which would certainly explain why Dark Horse is now taking over all-ages comics). According to StarWars.com, the publisher’s founder Mike Richardson sounds quite excited and not just because the company’s going to make loads of money:
“Dark Horse Comics has a rich history publishing Star Wars comics and graphic novels. Star Wars is near and dear to all of our hearts and I’ve been a fan since I saw the original film 19 times during its original release. I am thrilled that Dark Horse will once again bring new stories to life from this incredible galaxy and I’m not exaggerating when I say we can’t wait to bring these new adventures to fans of every age.”
The big difference between Dark Horse’s old titles and whatever it makes next is, of course, that Star Wars owner Disney has declared everything to be in-canon when it rebooted the Star Wars universe’s continuity ahead of the release of The Force Awakens 2015 — only including its new comics, novels, TV series, games, and so on, along with the retroactively canonised Clone Wars TV series, which began in 2008, the then-upcoming Rebels, and, of course, the prequel and original trilogies. Only one Dark Horse Star Wars comic managed to make it to the new canon, and it was a tie-in to the Clone Wars TV series called Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, which was made up of unproduced show scripts.
Dark Horse had many memorable comics back in the day, including the Dawn of the Jedi series, which was set 25,000 years in the franchise’s past, and Legacy, which takes place 130 years after the original trilogy and stars Luke’s descendent Cade Skywalker. It also adapted The Star Wars, a 1974 draft of A New Hope where Annikin Starkiller was the hero. My personal favourites were the Infinities series, which told alternate versions of the original trilogy movies, like if Luke had frozen to death on Hoth.
Dark Horse will resume publishing Star Wars comics in the spring of next year, focusing initially on stories set in the High Republic era.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.