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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 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.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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