That's not how you use the force: Lucasfilm is suing a Star Wars lightsaber training academy


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Apparently there's more to wielding a lightsaber than just slashing a broom through the air and yelling "whoosh!", and it's gotten a US man into legal trouble with Hollywood behemoth, Disney.

Disney – who owns Lucasfilm, the home to all Star Wars related property – is using its force to sue Michael Brown, the owner of a handful of schools, including Lightsaber Academy and New York Jedi, that teach Star Wars fans how to use lightsabers for "illuminated stage combat" (aka, enthusiastic dork fights).

The lawsuit, filed by Disney on Friday, cites "cybersquatting, trademark infringement and unfair competition" amongst its complaints, a legal document acquired by The Hollywood Reporter shows.  

Disney wants no more lightsaber training.

Disney wants no more lightsaber training.

Among those infringements are the academy's use of the Jedi Order logo on their website, "round in shape, with six wing-like shapes curving upward (three per side), and an eight-pointed star featuring elongated top and bottom points stretched into a vertical line," the legal complaint specifies.

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Brown's schools, one based in New York and the other in San Francisco, have been operating since 2005, offering classes in the "8 core principles" of Jedi warfare, including movement and form, footwork and stances, safety, and basic strikes.

Although the Academy's website explicitly states the disclaimer that they "have no affiliation with Star Wars, Lucasfilm, or Disney," Disney's complaint notes that the "defendants have willfully continued their infringing activities despite receiving cease and desist letters from Lucasfilm."

The film giant is demanding a permanent injunction against Brown, and up to US$2 million (NZ$2.77 million) in statutory damages for each trademark infringed.

Disney infamously acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, after founder George Lucas sold them his 100 per cent stake in the company for US$4 billion (NZ$5.5 billion).

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The company quickly announced a slate of six movies planned through till 2020, starting with last year's The Force Awakens, which took in more than US$2 billion at the global box office, and continuing with Rogue One, which hits theatres in December.



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