You don’t mess with Jedi, or their lawyers. A group that hosted free and increasingly popular lightsaber battles in the U.S. and Canada got skewered by Lucasfilm attorneys protecting the film franchise’s brand, as reported on Siliconbeat, the Mercury News tech blog. The end result? Cat fights in space, with swords.
For eight years, New York and Toronto-based event company Newmindspace has been hosting lightsaber battles. Earlier this year, Newmindspace was contacted by Lucasfilm lawyers who were not at all happy that an unlicensed company (i.e., no economic benefit for Lucasfilm) was using what the mouthpieces considered protected intellectual property. Hmmm, sense it makes.
You can’t start using terms like Jedi, Yoda, Sith, the Force, or even lightsaber without a license. Chances are the growing attendance at the lightsaber battles caused a deep enough disturbance in the Force to awaken a trusted sentinel. In December nearly 10,000 people showed up to battle with the shiny Jedi weapons, with 2000 attendees in San Francisco. Apparently an officially licensed Jedi discovered that mind tricks weren’t enough to stop the battles and called in reinforcements.
Newmindspace did try for middle ground, calling the events “The Light Battle Tour” and the weapons “light swords,” but those didn’t fly, either. The message came through more clear than a hologram that Lucasfilm really meant it: No infringement — not even anything close.
Quick to respond to the attorneys’ request, Newmindspace changed the event and weapon names again (faster than 12 parsecs perhaps?). It now hosts Cat Tours in Space in multiple cities, with cats fighting with catblades. So stock up on cat whiskers, redub your weapons feline fighting tools, and get ready for a cat fight. May the means for peace and unity be with you.