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WickedLasers Spyder III Pro Arctic Laser   (Source: WickedLasers)

George Lucas has demanded Wicked Lasers stop producing their device or face a lawsuit. Our advice to them -- watch out for the Rancor pit!  (Source: LucasFilm)
Lucas says there's only room for one jedi lightsaber in town; Wicked Lasers says claims are ridiculous

Early last month we covered Hong Kong-based Wicked Laser's new Spyder III Pro Arctic laser, a 1-watt beast capable of setting people's skin on fire and causing blindness.  In that article we compared the laser to a "lightsaber", as a humorous pop culture reference.  After all, the design looked much like the iconic Star Wars weapon.

George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, noticed that similarity, too, and now has threatened Wicked Lasers to change their design or prepare to be sued.  Lucas's firm Lucasfilm Ltd. sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company threatening legal action if the conditions are not accepted.  Lucasfilm states, "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..."

The letter says that much like the fictional lightsabers, the Wicked Lasers can prove a dangerous weapon.  It writes that they are "a highly dangerous product with the potential to cause blindness, burns and other damage to people and/or property."

Steve Liu, CEO of Wicked Lasers, says his 7-year-old firm has many lasers that look like the Spyder III and that the design was not meant to copy Star Wars.  He states, "Most people feel it's kind of ridiculous... We would never use any comparison like that to 'Star Wars' or a lightsaber or anything like that."

Much like Luke Skywalker facing down Jabba the Hutt, Liu boldly proclaims that Lucas is making a big error with his legal threats.  He states, "Lucasfilm shouldn't be saying something like that.  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."

While we think this suit is relatively silly (most laser pointers look somewhat lightsaber-like), it is hard to deny that the look of the Pro Arctic is remarkably similar to a Star Wars universe lightsaber.

In response to the demand and safety concerns, Wicked Lasers has made some modifications to the devices before it ships them to customers.  It has added the following:
1) Adjustable Power Mode : Low power and high power modes are now selectable. Laser's default power mode is low power mode.

2) Adjustable Wave Mode
: Pulse mode and constant wave modes are now selectable. Laser's default wave mode is pulse mode.

3) Secure Lock/Unlock Mode : The laser can now be locked and unlocked electronically to prevent unauthorized usage. Laser's default secure mode is locked mode.

4) Training Lens : A replaceable training lens will be installed on each laser that reduces the power output by 80% to prevent accidents for new users. Once training is completed, user may replace the training lens with the included standard lens for maximum power.
Perhaps those modifications will help keep overzealous users from burning themselves or others.

As to the Lucas mess, the letter gave Wicked Lasers five days to promise changes, and it seems the company is unwilling to comply.  Thus it seems likely that Lucasfilm will sue it.  Liu, though, says he hopes that it won't come to that.  We're guessing George Lucas is searching for a good Sarlacc pit to throw them in now, as we write this.

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RE: Want a Cookie?
By CurseTheSky on 7/7/2010 12:20:00 PM , Rating: 5
The older movies, while comical at times, had a much more serious undertone. The new movies were geared much more towards kids, in my opinion. Even though they definitely had serious scenes, they had far more comic relief and the fighting scenes seemed much more family-friendly.

The acting in the original trilogy was also much better than the newer movies.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Scabies on 7/7/2010 12:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
the target audience is made blatantly clear with:
1) pod racing
2) jar jar
3) the forced comical foibles of R2 and C-3PO

that and the cartoon network spinoffs (not including the Genndy Tartakovsky series.)

RE: Want a Cookie?
By quiksilvr on 7/7/2010 1:04:06 PM , Rating: 4
The first movie could have been Anakin pod-racing for 2 hours with flash backs into his past on how he got to where he was. And the movie should have ended with him being freed after the race by Obi Won Kenobi (no Jar Jar, no Padme, no mom, no Qui Gon).

To me, that would have been a much better story.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Mitch101 on 7/7/2010 3:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
I like your perspective.

Darth Maul could have been a great villain only to be killed off so quickly.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By mcnabney on 7/7/2010 9:21:54 PM , Rating: 4
Why was Darth Maul a great villain? He had neat makeup and used a cool light saber.

Contrast that with the villains of New Hope.

Vader oozed evil from the first moment you saw him (as he was choking the captain). Tarkin played an intelligent and ruthless villain throughout.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Mitch101 on 7/8/2010 1:38:18 AM , Rating: 5
He started off to me as some Ninja Warrior attacking the Jedi then he gets killed the next time. They should have had a few scenes of him kicking major ass to build up the character more then fight the Jedi.

Either way Lucas said when he retires hes going to hand the reigns over to someone else I forget his handle (silver shadow?) but he would make episodes 7-9 possibly up to episode 12. I think he should just get JJ Abrams to make 7-9 he would deliver something massive.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By B3an on 7/8/2010 7:40:58 PM , Rating: 3
I think he should just get JJ Abrams to make 7-9 he would deliver something massive.

Not after he ruined Star Trek.

The film was rated well, and it's good to watch... but it's not Star Trek. They really needed a new look and feel, but this ins't it.
And theres so many holes in the plot it's ridiculous.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By quiksilvr on 7/7/2010 11:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
Darth Maul was useless. I guess if you wanted to have some action in the flashbacks you could have had the planet originally being a free and open place but then Darth Maul usurped the government and lead the society to anarchy. Both of Anakin's parents being killed by Darth Maul and then have it be a conflict in the next movie.

And Obi Won Kenobi being sent out there to see the situation and then calling for support from other Jedis after the pod race? Idk I'm just throwing ideas out of my head (wished Lucas would have done that)

RE: Want a Cookie?
By bodar on 7/8/2010 7:16:54 AM , Rating: 2
Why would the Sith take over a barren and worthless planet in the middle of nowhere? Anakin's parents killed by Darth Maul? Is this Harry Potter now?

Maul's entire purpose in the trilogy was to provide a cool end battle. That's pretty much it. Y'know, because it's Star Wars and if there's no lightsaber battles in Episode I, you'd have Speed Racer in space, and that sucked enough on Earth.

In summary: Wushu + lightsabers > pod racing.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By quiksilvr on 7/8/2010 9:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, that would seem rather cliche. And the purpose would be to create chaos in the outer realms and destabilize the Republic. Who said Darth Maul was the only Sith ;)

RE: Want a Cookie?
By bodar on 7/8/2010 4:46:10 PM , Rating: 2

Though, technically Sideous broke the rule at least twice (when he had Anakin kill Dooku, and when he tried to turn Luke in RotJ).

Personally, I'd say the plan to engineer a civil war so that he could build a personal & completely loyal clone army worked out pretty well for Palpatine.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/8/2010 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
ugh stop! Stop trying to make anything about the plot of those movies seem logical or remotely believable!

RE: Want a Cookie?
By bodar on 7/7/2010 8:40:18 PM , Rating: 4
And axe the Duel of the Fates, aka the only really good part of that movie? Plus, as annoying as some of the other story elements are, many were critical to Anakin's turning to the dark side -- esp. the death of his mother and the fear that Padme would die as well. Palpatine played on these fears and actively fed them to coerce Anakin. I think it's a good story, it's just that the execution was lackluster, and things definitely needed to be trimmed out (Jar-Jar) or done better (the Jedi extras during the arena battle, lolwtf?!)

P.S. -- whoever came up with the term "younglings" should be castrated with a Wicked Laser -- whew, threadjack averted!

RE: Want a Cookie?
By theapparition on 7/7/2010 12:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
The acting in the original trilogy was also much better than the newer movies.

Which speaks volumes, because the original trilogy was universally panned by critics for bad acting. So the newer movies were even worse than bad.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By AssBall on 7/7/2010 12:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. If the new ones were anything like the old ones, Darth Maul would have sliced Qui'gon up through the face in two while Obiwan watched. They would have shown Dookoo's head getting sliced off by Anakin. There would not have been half the stupidity of Jar Jar and Cee Threepio. That crap would have turned me off even as a kid watching. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman did great acting, so I might disagree a bit there.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By cparka23 on 7/7/2010 2:03:25 PM , Rating: 5
Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman did great acting, so I might disagree a bit there.


You lost me.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Scabies on 7/7/2010 4:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm willing to chalk this one up to *bad writing. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman have shown tremendous talent in other movies.

*insert adjective to taste

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Souka on 7/7/2010 6:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
Agree.. I like'd Natalie when she was that movie wearing a thong.... great acting...

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Belard on 7/7/2010 7:16:47 PM , Rating: 3
Which movie is that....?!

RE: Want a Cookie?
By gixser on 7/7/2010 9:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Want a Cookie?
By drewidgho5t on 7/7/2010 2:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
Except I was even OLDER when Lord of the Rings came out. Same also with ALL Harry Potter movies.

They did NOT suck.

My age has nothing to do with it. George's does. He's old, past his prime, and is a crapa$$ director.

However, his foresight to own ILM, puts him almost in Steve Jobs league concerning the accurate devlopment and use of future tech.

George was worried he would SCARE and traumatize the kiddies if he made Star Wars story line "noir". Not long after he tried valiently NOT to scare the poor emotionally sensitive kiddies, a guy by the name of Peter (Jackson?) decided to make a film so dark and terrifiying that kids were said to b crying in the theatre out of fear.

Then all the terrified emotionally scared kiddies went back to watch Peter's movie again. Then they went to watch his next two installments.

Peter 3 = George 0 George. Its 2010. The kids are alright. Next time, scare the poop out of my boy. Or else start producing for Hallmark and get out of Hollywood.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By ClownPuncher on 7/7/2010 3:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
From THX 1138 to Jar Jar binks and Hayden Christiansen. I would say he lost his mojo, big time.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By bigdawg1988 on 7/10/2010 1:40:56 AM , Rating: 2
Can't believe it took this long to mention Hayden. Good God, what the hell was Lucas thinking? Guess he figured if the dude looked good enough the acting would take care of itself. I think Lucas is just too insulated in his own world and time has passed him by. He should have turned over the reins before he made the prequels. I don't even want to see episodes 7-9 now.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/7/2010 4:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
The new movies were geared much more towards kids, in my opinion.

Which is ironic because it such great childhood themes as premarital sex, love children, beheadings, dismemberment and then having your face melted by lava, small children being murdered, cold blooded murder in general, space taxes being worth going to war for, but the Jedi ignore slavery and don't care. Etc etc etc.

RE: Want a Cookie?
By bodar on 7/8/2010 7:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
space taxes being worth going to war for, but the Jedi ignore slavery and don't care

To be fair, the war wasn't about "space taxes". Palpatine convinced the Trade Federation to completely embargo and then take over the planet by military occupation. They literally said, "sign over the planet or we starve all your people to death". And of course, the Senate was completely unable to do anything because Palpatine was pulling strings.

Although, I don't recall the movie ever actually said what amazing resources they had that it was worth taking over, but hey, this isn't a political thriller here. Sith Lord says "Jump", you say "Thank you for not using the force-lightning, sir! Would you like a blumkin?".

RE: Want a Cookie?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/8/2010 4:28:00 PM , Rating: 1
I know you're trying to make sense of the plot, but do yourself a favor, and don't

Basically there's only one conclusion to take from the political back beat of the movie. It's this: the "galactic senate" or council or whatever was so goddamn inept, ignorant, and poorly ran it never would have reached that size in a first place and have remained stable for that long.

I mean, none of it makes sense. It's just horribly written, not thought out at all. Even the "trade embargo" that you brought up. How does a planet with super advanced technology, lush green vegetation where we can assume farming took place, and super advanced self sustaining energy production "starve" from a few days or weeks without space supplies?? It's bullshit.

The whole fucking prequals are bullshit. End of story.

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