11 Parsecs Temple Archives -
Dark Horse Comics, an American comic book publisher founded in 1986, made a significant impact on the Star Wars universe with its extensive line of Star Wars comic books, graphic novels, and other publications. The company acquired the license to create Star Wars comics in 1991 and held the rights until 2014 when the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney+ led to the transfer of rights to Marvel Comics, a subsidiary of Disney+.
Dark Horse Comics contributed to the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now known as Star Wars Legends), which included storylines, characters, and events that went beyond the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) and the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III). These creations expanded the universe’s narrative and deepened the lore in ways that hadn’t been explored in films. For example, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" comics and shows delved into the years between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith,” detailing the lives and conflicts of various characters.
Dark Horse's first significant success with Star Wars comics came in 1991 with the publication of "Star Wars: Dark Empire." This series, written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Cam Kennedy, chronicled the events that occurred six years after "Return of the Jedi." The storyline focused on the resurrection of Emperor Palpatine and his efforts to regain control of the galaxy. It was well-received, paving the way for numerous sequels and spin-offs, including "Dark Empire II" and "Empire's End." These stories became influential in shaping the future of Star Wars Legends and the Expanded Universe.
In 1993, Dark Horse launched "Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi," written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Chris Gossett. This series explored the ancient history of the Star Wars galaxy, set thousands of years before the events of the original trilogy. It delved into the origins of the Jedi Order, Sith, and other significant aspects of the Star Wars universe, adding a richness to the series' mythology. By covering various time periods and settings, Dark Horse further established the vast and interconnected tales woven throughout the Star Wars cosmos.
Dark Horse's "Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic" comic series, written by John Jackson Miller and released in 2006, connected directly with the acclaimed video game series of the same name. Taking place 4,000 years before the original trilogy, this series provided substantial backstory and character development, enhancing the experience of the video game series. Dark Horse established itself as not only a prominent force in expanding Star Wars graphic stories but also as a significant element of the multimedia landscape of the franchise.
"Star Wars: Legacy," a series introduced by Dark Horse in 2006, took a different approach by exploring the future of the Star Wars universe. Set nearly 140 years after "Return of the Jedi," the comic revolved around Cade Skywalker, a descendant of Luke Skywalker. By delving into the distant future of the galaxy, Dark Horse took creative liberties, exploring new ideas and characters while maintaining the core themes of the Star Wars universe.
As the license for Star Wars comics transferred to Marvel in 2014, the marked end of the Dark Horse era left lasting contributions to the Star Wars comic universe. Although the newly established Star Wars canon no longer includes works from the Star Wars Legends timeline, the influence of the iconic Dark Horse series on the Star Wars mythos remains significant. It's important to appreciate how these works helped shape the intricate universe fans continue to explore and embrace today.
Mentions on Podcast Episodes:
17. - (22 BBY) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie
25. - (22 BBY) Clone Wars S1 E17, S1 E18 & Star Wars Visions Episode 3