Charles Lippincott, Lucasfilm‘s publicity supervisor, initially approached Stan Lee in 1975 about publishing a Star Wars comic book prior to the film’s release to appeal to the film’s most likely audience. However, Lee declined to consider such a proposal until the film was completed, and was only persuaded otherwise in a second meeting arranged by Roy Thomas, who wanted to edit the series. Considering movie tie-in comics rarely sold well at that time, Lee negotiated a publishing arrangement with no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000 at which point legal arrangements could be revisited.
Marvel Comics Group published a series of Star Wars comic books from 1977 to 1986, lasting 107 issues and 3 annuals. According to former Marvel Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter, the strong sales of Star Wars comics saved Marvel financially in 1977 and 1978. Marvel’s Star Wars series was one of the industry’s top selling titles in 1979 and 1980.The only downside for Marvel was that the 100,000 copy sales quota was surpassed quickly, allowing Lippincott to renegotiate the royalty arrangements from a position of strength.