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Here’s a dilemma: How do you say yes to a question that you know you really shouldn’t answer? If you’re Marvel SVP of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel and the question is about a potential future Star Wars launch, the answer turns out to be easy: rely on a classic piece of faux-misdirection.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Gabriel was asked about the possibility of a comic book set between 1983’s Return of the Jedi and this December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His answer was enjoyably telling. “Uhm…these are not the droids you’re looking for,” he responded.
For those unfamiliar with the original Star Wars, the line was originally used by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) when attempting to mislead a pair of Stormtroopers on the lookout for C-3PO and R2-D2; the joke being that the Stormtroopers had, in fact, found the droids they were looking for, but were being persuaded otherwise. Using the phrase in this context could be read as pre-announcement confirmation that a comic prologue to The Force Awakens will indeed be forthcoming.
When it arrives — if it arrives — it will join the already announced Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Vader and Star Wars: Kanan ongoing series from Marvel, as well as the March-launching Star Wars: Princess Leia mini-series. Jordan White, editor of Marvel’s Star Wars line, revealed last year that the publisher intended to explore “other eras” of the Star Wars universe beyond those already covered in existing movies and television series; any potential The Force Awakens prologue would fit easily into that category.
Elsewhere in the ComicBook.com interview, Gabriel revealed that the phenomenal success of Marvel’s Star Wars No. 1 — which surpassed one million copies in retailer orders before its release Wednesday — was the result of partnerships with a number of unexpected outlets and institutions, including Hot Topic and Seattle’s EMP Museum. The first issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader, he revealed, has retailer orders of above 200,000, suggesting that it is likely to be the best-selling comic book of next month.
“We’re beyond proud of the first issue [of the core Star Wars series] and thrilled we could get it into the hands of so many new fans, and hopefully help grow the industry,” Gabriel said, adding that Marvel has “big plans for the Star Wars universe,” with announcements scheduled for March and April.
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