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Star Wars Prequels The Courts Toys

George Lucas C&Ds 'Lightsaber Laser' 481

Posted by timothy
from the illegal-operation dept.
dward90 writes "George Lucas thinks that bulky, handheld lasers shouldn't be produced because they are his intellectual property. From CNN: 'George Lucas wants to force a laser company to stop making a new, high-powered product he says looks too much like the famous lightsaber from his classic sci-fi series. Lucasfilm Ltd. has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers, threatening legal action if it doesn't change its Pro Arctic Laser series or stop selling it altogether.'"
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George Lucas C&Ds 'Lightsaber Laser'

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  • Re:heh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:41AM (#32826150)

    Most of the time anyone's pitching something "light saber" like in their marketing materials, serious fucking laser burns aren't a problem. Blunt force trauma, maybe, but not laser burns.

    I can see why Lucas is trying to get the association away from his name.

  • Probably unimportant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:45AM (#32826238) Homepage
    I'm agreeing with the Wicked Lasers CEO:

    "They're a big company that needs to protect their trademarks. Maybe they're having to look like they're protecting their trademark in case they need to [protect it again] later."

    It's just a laser for now, but next month when Lucasfilm sues a company making unlicensed life-size R2D2 statues, their lawyers can claim they've been actively protecting their copyrights and trademarks, which easily cuts off the biggest defenses. It's all part of the game.

  • Lucas F*&^ OFF ! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maxrate (886773) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:51AM (#32826324)
    That's like Paramount tell apple to stop making the iPad because it looks like the PADD's on the Star Trek series
  • Re:heh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:56AM (#32826410) Journal

    I think he was actually going with the McDonald's route, and trying to market Star Wars to Kids. I mean a 9 year old protagonist hero. Then a cheesy no-lust love story?

    Notice there were a few more video games targetted towards kids and more products aimed at kids than before... I think the idea was to get these kids to be SW geeks for life, more money if you get em young.

  • Re:heh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:58AM (#32826440) Homepage Journal

    Willow?
    American Graffiti?
    THX-1138?

    And oddly enough people really hated Temple of Doom until Last Crusade came out. Then people hated it for not living up to the first two films. Now people hate Indy IV.

    I love Indy, but all 4 are cheesy, unrealistic, and most lack a traditional Hollywood ending where Indy saves the day. Indy gets captured by bad guys who basically get what they want in 1, 3 and 4.

    That being said, Lucas is good with concepts, pretty good with directing, and terrible at acting writing scripts. He even admits as such, but still demanded to write the screenplays for the prequels. I never understand why.

  • Please?

    I wont to see the idiot who clearly didn't read the article moderated to hell.

    They run around projecting the narcissistic doom and gloom via wild speculation based on a poor interpretation of a headline.

    I am not new here by any stretch of the imagination. I have been here long enough to get sick of it, come to terms with it, and then get really sick of it again.ad nausium

    FYI: IT's abouit the look of the handle,. not about it being a laser.

    "high-powered product he says looks too much like the famous lightsaber from his classic sci-fi series"

    AND

    "These references make it clear that the public is being led to believe that the Pro Arctic Laser is an official lightsaber device and/or copied from our design," the Lucasfilm letter said.

    It's a CNN article people. It's not going to be hard to read.

  • by sgt scrub (869860) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <muitnias>> on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:28AM (#32826904)

    What if someone build a real light saber? Would the IP of a non existing object restrict someone from selling a real one?

  • by butterflysrage (1066514) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:44AM (#32827156)

    they were NOT "floating around in his head", the first three SW movies were ripped nearly line for line out of Norse myth (minus the space travel). Luke, Leia, Aniken, the emperor, Tatooine.... he didn't even bother to change their names. "Skywalker" is a direct translation of their Old Norse surname.

    Credit where credit is due... 4, 5 and 6 were Norse. 1, 2 and 3 were what you get when you see what is his original work.

  • Re:age (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:53AM (#32827276)

    the problem is that Lucas is still alive.

    He was much better when he just wanted to share some amazing stories floating in his head, like the original SW trilogy and IJ. Ever since it's been downhill...

    I read, in the Secret History of Star Wars, that Lucas genuinely wanted to impress his dad. He wanted to do something great that wasn't just running a stationary store or what-have-you. Since his father passed away in 1991, and also since he divorced one of his strongest contributers in 1983, I'd say he is just lost. He seems to lack any particular direction and is just doing what he can, rather than to impress any particular person.

    That's my take on it, anyway.

    Poor guy.

  • by Omestes (471991) <omestes @ g m a il.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:08AM (#32827492) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress, and many other non-specific thematic elements from his films.

    I have no problem with borrowing from other people's work (or histories, or mythologies), I just have a problem when you become a hypocrite and decide that people can't borrow from you, no matter how heavily you borrowed from others (Disney, I'm looking at you!).

    Lucas' borrowing was still better than Quentin Tarantino's, though. At least it wasn't immediately transparent, where with Tarantino's films I generally just play "where did he copy this from" during the whole movie, then go rent the actual original films instead of paying a bit of attention to his. The originals generally actually have realistic dialogue, and don't drop the f-bomb like a 13 year old who just decided it is cool, and gets a nice rise from his parents.

    Lucas really needs to relax. The first trilogy was a decent space opera, like a modern version of Flash Gordon. The second trilogy was a mass marketing campaign for toys and Happy Meals. Actually episode VI was also a mass marketing campaign for toys and Happy Meals as well. Leaving us with episodes IV-V, and III, the first two are pure fun, the last is actually a decent (albeit a bit trite) film.

    Indiana Jones was just pure awesome, up until the last move (which-does-not-actually-exist).

    Lucas can be either VERY good, or VERY bad, with absolutely nothing in between.

  • Re:heh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:08AM (#32827500)

    As an internet meme, it gets beat into the ground, but it is 2 seconds in a much larger movie.

    Return of the Jedi has Ewoks. People seem to forget how much Ewoks were hated when the movie first came out.

    Nothing new ever holds up to idealized versions of prior movies.

    What about direct contradictions to the prior films? Are those simply 'not idealized', or is a reasonable person allowed to object to those as well?

    Episode 3 displayed, at a minimum:

    1) Leia never knew her mother, period, so what she says to Luke in IV is entirely BS.

    2) Vader wasn't in a suit because he was 'battle scarred', he fell into a damn volcano. Once. Most powerful force user to have ever existed can't figure out levitation, or pushing lava out of his way, or any such things. He falls into a hole, slapstick style, just like everyone else.

    3) Anakin didn't turn to the dark side because he was seduced by it, only because he wanted to learn how to raise Padme from the dead. Which he never actually attempted to do, as far as we know, so it was all for naught. Even so, he stays on the dark side for twenty-some years because... why?

    There's more, but I think you get the point.

    As a stand alone film, it probably was close to the original set. As the capstone in the prequel trilogy, not so much. Unless you like your retcons better than I do.

  • Re:age (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @12:12PM (#32828396) Journal
    Yeah I agree. Many of Harrison Ford's Han Solo lines were more "Han Solo"ish than the original lines by George Lucas.

    Sometimes a little humility goes a long way. Sometimes the other person is actually right.

    But no, when I watched Phantom Menace it seemed like the actors had just read their lines for the second or third time, and George says "OK that's enough, let's go make more dresses for Amidala", and the actors and everyone else just went "Yes Sir!", rather than: "Uh George, we have to do that again, that sucked".

    Seeing it was just like seeing someone do the first or second round of his presentation ( some nice graphics, but blah). It usually takes a fair number of goes till the presenter says "forget the slide, let me tell you a story"...
  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @12:13PM (#32828406)

    This is funny and to the point - why is this a troll?

    We train young men to drop fire on people from the sky but forbid them to write the word "fuck" on their airplanes because it is obscene...

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @12:26PM (#32828536) Homepage

    For those wondering about this post. Here's another one. [slashdot.org]

    In googling around I haven't found any relevant cites but this article [secrethist...arwars.com] would seem to dispute the claim of Norse origins for Tatooine. I hope butterflysrage replies here and posts some nice links. It's an interesting theory and should be widely spread if true.

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