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Star Wars at Dark Horse: Expanding the Expanded Universe Twenty Years On 6/15/11
Okay, I made that up. But that’s what we do here at Dark Horse: make up new stories for the Star Wars universe. Fortunately for you, there’s a lot more depth to the stories we create than there is in the ridiculous example above.
This year marks Dark Horse’s twentieth year of producing Star Wars comics, and from the beginning we’ve moved the focus of the stories we tell beyond the confines of the movies—building not just onto the events after the films, but helping to create the vast backstory of the universe; setting the stage, so to speak, on which the Skywalker saga unfolds.
“But, Randy,” I hear you say, “twenty years is a long time. Doesn’t Star Wars get old? Don’t you and your creators ever run out of ideas?” Uh, no . . . and no.
Little-Known Star Wars Fact: There are eight hundred trillion million stories in the Naked Galaxy.
Seriously, how can you run out of ideas when you have a whole galaxy and twenty-some thousand years in which to tell stories? It has been nearly a decade since I took over the reins of our Star Wars line, and to me the road ahead still seems as exciting and as full of untapped potential as ever.
This month, as you’re reading this, we have two series—Legacy: War and Darth Vader and the Lost Command—coming to an end. But we also have the launch of Jedi: The Dark Side. Next month is the launch of The Old Republic: The Lost Suns. This summer will see new story arcs in the Invasion and the Dark Times series, a new digest-sized graphic novella for The Clone Wars, and a new arc for Knight Errant, and we’ve just announced Crimson Empire III and Agent of the Empire. Does it sound like we’re running out of ideas?
Little-Known Star Wars Fact: Anakin’s mom, Shmi, was in on the whole thing.
Okay, so not every idea is worth exploring. That’s where editors like Dave Marshall and myself come in. Our goal is not only to make sure that we’re telling the best Star Wars stories possible, but that all of our stories are easily accessible to even the most casual Star Wars fans.
You say you’ve only seen the movies, or the TV show The Clone Wars, and you don’t know a Chubbit from an ysalamiri? Have no fear. The stories in our comics and graphic novels are about characters, not about how hyperspace works or about how many servodrivers are needed to adjust a laser cannon. All of the best stories—whether they’re set in a galaxy far, far away or right here on earth—are about the clash of ideals, or desires. The Empire versus the Rebellion. Jedi versus Sith. Good versus Evil.
Little-Known Star Wars Fact: The 501st Stormtrooper Legion was named after George Lucas’s favorite jeans.
No, it wasn’t. Trust me, we have no interest in forcing you to slog through thirty-some years’ worth of continuity. If there’s some Star Wars-y detail you absolutely need to know in order to understand what’s happening, we’ll supply it for you. But 99.99 percent of the time all you need to enjoy a Star Wars comic book is an awareness of human emotions. So, enjoy!
Star Wars Pro Tip: Never put blue milk in your coffee. Bleh!
—Randy Stradley, editor
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