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FORCED OUT

Comic book buyers have succeeded where Darth Vader failed.

Because of sagging sales, Lucasfilm and Marvel Comics Group agreed to “suspend” publication of its Star Wars comic book. No. 107, which just hit the stands, is the last--for now.

According to a Marvel official, the monthly comic wasn’t doing big enough box office--especially with no new “Star Wars” film to bolster sales. (“Return of the Jedi” was released three years ago.)

“The book was not terminated,” stressed a Lucasfilm spokesman with hope burning eternal. “We’re just putting it on hiatus until the next film is released.”

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The next film? “We hope so,” he said, adding in reference to George Lucas, “There’s only one man who can make that decision and he’s not talking.”

Mention of another “Star Wars” film brought this retort from Marvel: “If there’s another movie, we’ll be publishing tomorrow morning.”

In the interim, “Star Wars” is being replaced by the child-oriented “Ewoks” and “Droids,” bimonthly books that deal with light adventures and moral messages about family life and ecology.


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