12:16pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel to Rerelease Original 'Star Wars' Movies as Remastered Comic Books
Before Star Wars returns to the big screen in December 2015, fans will have the chance to revisit the original trilogy of movies in comic book form, with Marvel Entertainment announcing plans Tuesday to rerelease 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 rereleased adaptations will be recolored by Chris Sotomayor and presented in an oversize hardcover format, launching with Star Wars: Episode IV — 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 senior vp sales and 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 reissued by Marvel next year; in its original, unremastered format, it will also appear in Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Vol. 1, another oversize hardcover releasing January 2015, alongside material from subsequent issues of the original 1970s Star Wars comic book.
The announcement of the adaptation rerelease 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 preorders ahead of its January 2015 release, easily outpacing every other title published by the company. The combination of Marvel and 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 January 2013, had an estimated 39,000 preorders.)