Lightsabers are the most iconic weapons in all of Star Wars, and as a result, one of the most iconic weapons in all of science fiction. From the hum the weapon makes when ignited to its distinct visual appearance, it doesn't get much more Star Wars than lightsaber duels.
Which is precisely the reason Lucasfilm is setting its sights on a business franchise that teaches people how to lighstaber-fight. A number of businesses operated by Michael Brown, including New York Jedi, Lightsaber Academy and Thrills and Skills are all the subject of a new lawsuit Lucasfilm recently filed in California, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The classes teach stage fighting and dueling, but perhaps not for much longer. Lucasfilm is claiming copyright infringement in its lawsuit against Brown, among other complaints.
"Defendants regularly use the Lucasfilm Trademarks without authorization in connection with their businesses," Lucasfilm's complaint reads, and also notes that, "among other infringing activities, Defendants use a logo that is nearly identical, and confusingly similar, to Lucasfilm's trademark Jedi Order logo."
Lucasfilm says it has served multiple cease and desist notices to Brown, only for Brown to continue business as usual, going so far as to file a trademark for "Lightsaber Academy, Inc."
None of this should come as much of a surprise. Honestly, it's more surprising that Brown and his Lightsaber training schools didn't come under legal attack far sooner. After all, he's using one of the most iconic weapons in all of film without permission, while at the same time using other Star Wars-related imagery to turn a profit. Lucasfilm is seeking a permanent injunction, actual damages and profits, or up to $2 million in statutory damages for each trademark infringed, which are many.
None of that changes the fact that it's never fun to see legal action taken against fans. Brown's idea is a great one, with his various schools taking the idea of lightsaber fighting very seriously, going so far as to develop all kinds of new techniques for how the weapons would be used if they were really as deadly as they are shown in the Star Wars films.
No doubt more than a few Star Wars fans would be interested in learning how to fight with the weapon, and thus far it's not a service that Disney or Lucasfilm seems to offer in any official capacity. Perhaps it's still a possibility that Brown and Lucasfilm can come to some kind of agreement. If not, don't expect Brown's Lightsaber Academy to be around much longer.