Before Star Wars returns to the big screen in Dec. 2015, fans will have the chance to revisit the original trilogy of movies in comic book form, with Marvel Entertainment announcing plans Tuesday to re-release its original adaptations of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi throughout the year leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The re-released adaptations will be re-colored by Chris Sotomayor, and presented in an oversized hardcover format, launching with Star Wars: Episode VI A New Hope, in comic specialty stores and bookstores May 2015.
“With new Star Wars comics being published by Marvel in 2015, we’re proud to look back on this exciting remastered adaptation of the original film, with remastered adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi coming later in 2015,” Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel said in a statement accompanying the announcement. No announcement has been made regarding reissuing adaptations of the prequel trilogy (originally released by Dark Horse Comics, not Marvel).
The A New Hope hardcover will actually be the second time the material is re-issued by Marvel next year; in its original, un-remastered format, it will also appear in Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Vol. 1, another oversized hardcover released Jan. 2015, alongside material from subsequent issues of the original 1970s Star Wars comic book.
The announcement of the adaptation re-release program follows Marvel’s confirmation last week that the first issue of its new Star Wars comic book series has received more than one million pre-orders ahead of its Jan. 2015 release, easily outpacing every other title published by the company. The combination of Marvel Star Wars, it seems, remains a potent one. (For comparison, the previous first issue of a comic titled Star Wars, from independent publishers Dark Horse in Jan. 2013, had an estimated 39,000 pre-orders.)