The inevitable has been announced: in 2015, the Star Wars comics publishing license will transfer from Dark Horse Comics to Marvel Entertainment. This was on the cards as soon as Disney (who own Marvel) bought Lucasfilm.
You can read the press release at StarWars.com, which basically announces the move, praises Dark Horse and notes that Marvel originally published Star Wars comics between 1977 and 1986.
Meanwhile, Jedi News have published a statement by Mike Richardson of Dark Horse: in short, they suspected this was coming and they put plans in place to make sure they will stay afloat following the loss of the Star Wars license.
My gut feeling is that this will mark the Expanded Universe reboot we’ve all been expecting. There will be new series and they’ll almost certainly be overseen by the story group with tight integration with Rebels and Episode VII. There may even be a series set in the lead-up to Episode VII, or perhaps set after Return of the Jedi, existing in a universe slightly different to the one presented in the EU thus far. (That, however, is pure speculation on my part.)
Everyone at Dark Horse gave Star Wars their all, and it’s unfortunate that they’ve lost the license through no fault of their own.
But with Rebels coming later this year and Marvel publishing new comics in 2015, we will finally start to see the fruits of this new era for Star Wars.