George Lucas is angry with Wicked Lasers and is challenging it to a light sabre duel, saying that it has infringed on his designs with the Spyder III Pro Arctic laser.
The laser, which was released last month, kind of looks like the infamous Jedi and Sith weapon and had the potential to cause real injury, which excited Star Wars fans around the globe. Everyone, of course, except Lucas himself.
Lucasfilm sent Wicked Lasers a Cease and Desist Letter recently, threatening legal action if the company does not change its design for the laser. Wicked Lasers never actually called it a light sabre, but everyone else did and it’s pretty impossible to dissassociate it from the iconic fake weapon.
While Lucasfilm does not hold any copyright over laser technology, it does have a claim on the hilt designs. It said: “It is apparent from the design of the Pro Arctic Laser that it was intended to resemble the hilts of our lightsaber swords, which are protected by copyright.” Considering how many Obi-wan fans have been salivating over the items, which is probably not very safe, it’s no surprise that Lucasfilm has interjected.
It seems that Lucasfilm is also concerned about how dangerous the laser is. The letter describes the laser as “a highly dangerous product with the potential to cause blindness, burns and other damage to people and/or property.” It most likely recognises the fact that it will be blamed when some kid sets himself on fire or burns a hole in the wall after watching the saga.
In response to these concerns Wicked Lasers has made a number of adjustments to the laser to make it safer to use, including adjustable power modes so that users can lower the intensity of the laser beam, adjustable wave modes so that users can select a pulse rather than a constant wave, a secure lock/unlock mode to prevent unauthorised use, and a training lens for new users which lowers the output by 80 percent to reduce the risk of accidents.
As for changing the design, however, the company does not appear to be so keen. It said it made no comparison of its laser to Star Wars and never used the term light sabre. It mentioned that it has been operating for seven years and believes that the legal threats are ridiculous and heavy-handed. Lucasfilm has given it five days to commit to changes, but Wicked Lasers is being defiant.
Let the duel commence.