Lucas threatens wicked 'lightsaber' maker
George Lucas sends a cease and desist letter to Wicked Lasers, the manufacturer of the Pro Arctic Laser, the so-called lightsaber. Lucasfilm is asking for changes to the product or the cessation of sales.
This is what happens when the Force comes down upon you.
Just a few weeks ago, there wascalled the Spyder III Pro Arctic Laser.
This sweet little object does bear a passing resemblance to a "Star Wars" lightsaber. In addition, it can burn your skin and permanently blind you. And that's not all. The manufacturer, Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers, proudly tells you on its Web site that it is "the most dangerous laser ever created."
Some people have been a little concerned that this fine laser might bring the nasty side of celestial wars rather closer to Earth than is healthy.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas seems not to be a fan. According to CNN, he and Lucasfilm sent a cease and desist letter expressing, among others, the following concern: "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 added that the Pro Arctic is "a highly dangerous product with the potential to cause blindness, burns, and other damage to people and/or property." It demanded that the product should be recalled.
In a press release, Wicked Lasers offered that there are several differences between a lightsaber and its own bright idea. The Pro Arctic, which costs around $200, is "1 watt peak output power while Lightsaber is 1 billion watts peak output power," said the release. The Pro Arctic "has nonadjustable infinite length beam while Lightsaber has adjustable finite length blade."
And then came the really sharp blade between the shoulders. The Pro-Arctic is "real while the lightsaber is imaginary."
Despite comparing it to an imaginary item, Wicked Lasers says it has altered the design by adding a safety lock and an additional lens that can reduce the laser's power by around 80 percent.
However, even though Wicked Lasers has not made mention of Star Wars in its marketing or on its Web site, Lucasfilm believes that because the Pro Arctic is so often being referred to in the media as a lightsaber-like device, the public is being misled.
Its cease and desist letter even asks for a specific disclaimer on Wicked's Web site that it has no affiliation with Star Wars or Lucasfilm.
I fear there may be no happy ending here. I fear, in fact, that there may be sequel.