I’m more concerned about what this will do to Dark Horse if they lose the license than what it will do to Star Wars comics if they are published elsewhere.
Dark Horse has been publishing Star Wars books since Dark Empire in 1991. Over 20 years of books, and that franchise kept them afloat longer than manga, their original characters and franchises, and other licensed fare.
I’m not saying that Dark Horse will be doomed if they lose Star Wars come 2015 when the new trilogy starts up, but it would be a HUGE loss for the company, and I doubt that Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly could sustain them as much as Star Wars has.
The worse case scenario would be Dark Horse folding up completely and the company selling the name and the proprietary franchises it owns outright (Ghost, The Mask, Barb Wire, Golden City, Steel Harbor, Arcadia) to another, preferably larger company and letting the licensed books lapse. But I think they’ll thrive and survive and try to visualize a Star War-less Dark Horse, which is probably what they’ve been doing the moment they heard today’s announcements.