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Marvel Announces 'Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years' Collections

Ahead of news of the publisher's new "Star Wars" comics, Marvel reveals plans for a series of hardcover collections of its first visit to a Galaxy Far, Far Away from 1977.

Star Wars Comic Cover - P 2013
Howard Chaykin/Marvel Entertainment

Ahead of the expected announcement of new Star Wars comics from Marvel Entertainment—the publisher announced that it would take over the comic book license from current rights holder Dark Horse Comics earlier this year—Marvel has announced the publication of Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years.

The oversized hardcover will collect the first forty-four issues of Marvel’s 1970s spin-off from George Lucas’ first installment in the space opera series, as well as the first annual, spanning the period between the 1977 release of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back’s release in 1980.

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The stories collected in the 880 page collection include not only the original Star Wars adaptation—including scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut of the movie, such as the appearance of a very human Jabba the Hut (One “t”)—but also the debut of cult-favorite characters such as Jaxxon and droid-hating bounty hunter Beilert Valance. The final issues collected in the omnibus feature Marvel’s adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back.

"With Star Wars poised to return to its comic book home, what better time to revisit the first adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and, of course, Darth Vader?" Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso said in a statement accompanying the announcement, adding that he was “extremely proud to present these original Star Wars stories, told as only Marvel can, in the first in a massive and glorious Omnibus series.”

Marvel’s original Star Wars series ran 107 issues and three annuals, suggesting that this is the first of a three-volume series of collections. Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Volume 1 will be released in comic book stores January 2015.