After last week’s comic book case law, here’s some Star Wars jurisprudence:
- “Darth Vader is a huge, malevolent figure dressed entirely in flowing black robes, including a black cape which reaches to the floor. His face is masked by a grotesque breath screen with sharp angles and menacing protrusions. He wears a black helmet of flared design and is armed both with a light saber and his command of The Force, a cosmic power tapped by the Jedi Knights, a vanishing breed of crusaders for good from whose ranks Darth Vader has defected. Darth Vader has significant confrontations in the movie with his former teacher, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, who is now the Jedi Knight mentor of the young and heroic Luke Skywalker, and with Luke himself; the first battle is fought with light sabers and the second with spaceships.” Ideal Toy Corp. v. Kenner Prods. Div. of General Mills Fun Group, Inc., 443 F.Supp. 291, 297-98 (D.C.N.Y. 1977) (quotations and citations omitted).
- “Citizens’ political speech would be unacceptably regulated if they had to fear that their efforts in support of a political candidate, even for judicial office, would remove that candidate from his or her official duties if elected. The portrayal of some candidates as ‘good’ and others as ‘bad,’ even in the graphic, pointed analogy of Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader, is merely the rough and tumble of the democratic process. Regrettably the rough and tumble includes judicial elections.” Rogers v. Bradley, 909 S.W.2d 872, 882 (Tex. 1995). (Enoch, Justice, responding to declaration of recusal) (citations omitted).
- “You can’t have a mock Star Wars without a mock Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, which in turn means a mock Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. You can’t have a mock Batman commercial without a mock Batman, which means someone emulating the mannerisms of Adam West or Michael Keaton.” White v. Samsung Electronics Am., Inc., 989 F.2d 1512, 1518 (9th Cir. 1993) (Kozinski, J., dissenting from the order rejecting the suggestion for rehearing en banc).
- “One example is the nurturing of the gifted Luke Skywalker by Obi-Wan (‘Ben’) Kenobi in Star Wars, of which the Court takes judicial notice.” Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. Marvel Enters., Inc., 155 F.Supp.2d 1, 41 and n.71 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (noting also that”Star Wars is one of the most well-known and widely viewed science fiction films.”).