So, I came upon this story today as I was clicking through the news stories, and being the geek that I am I was of course drawn to this particular article. http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/07/06/light.saber.lucas/index.html?hpt=C2

First, I should say that I have a strong beef with George Lucas, I think he could not direct his way out of a paper bag, and that if he ever had any skill when it came to writing scripts, it has long since left him upon completing the first three Star Wars movies.

Be that as it may, I find his actions here particularly pathetic. Here he is taking the weight of his multi million dollar company with all its assets and support and laying into a 7-year-old laser business for producing a hand-held laser that by his estimation, and that of the tech blogosphere, appears to bear a close resemblance to a lightsaber. Really George? Really? You are going to raise a stink over this?

I can understand, as Steve Liu, CEO of Wicked Lasers, suggested, that a large corporation such as Lucasfilm needs to protect its interests because it has a lot of stock holders, and that if they let this slide they will have allowed grounds for another company, later down the line, to attempt to cash in from the cache that the all too famous laser swords would bring in. The problem is, that this is a company that makes hand-held lasers; not designed for the average consumer but for certain and specific fields of work. Personally, I don’t see a Christmas time commercial in the works featuring two kids in their Christmas best sitting on Santa’s lap in the mall asking for the new and totally awesome Spyder III laser. Cut frame and there they are Christmas morning each holding their brand new Spyder III swinging it around, pretending they are Darth Vader or Luke  Skywalker, all the while  setting fire to the house and sending the blazing white-hot light of the strongest hand held laser Wicked Lasers has produced in recent years through the Christmas tree and carving out lines in the dry wall. This image, while comical, does not appear plausible. So why then is it that Lucas is so determined to squash this laser. Can he really be that afraid that those specific consumers in the fields of work where this particular style of laser would be necessary, are going to buy it solely on the fact that some consider it to bear a resemblance to a lightsaber? If that is the case, what about flashlights? Who has not seen, or been, a child holding a flash light in both hands waving it about and pretending it was a lightsaber. Some flashlights even bearing a very strong and specific resemblance to the franchise’s prized weapon of choice. Yet, these items, which are readily available, and like the Spyder III laser, not being advertised as bearing any connection to the lightsaber, are left alone in this blood thirsty hunt?  Is it because it is actually a laser and can burn through items much like the lightsaber? Is it because it has features on the item itself that make it easier to grip like many pictures of a lightsaber depict, even tho it would only seem wise to place such safety precautions on such a high-powered laser? Where is the line drawn, at what point do you allow technology to be technology and progress as it needs to, and at what point do you continue to harass its creators because what they are making seems, in a small percentage of people’s minds, to bear a slight resemblance to your “creation.”

The truth as I see it is that Lucas has had only a few properties that can guarantee to continue making money. Star Wars is chief among them. One might suspect that his goal is to prevent any type of competition between his licensed and controlled fiction, and the real world. Why else would anyone make a stink over this when A: no one at Wicked Lasers was trying to draw a parallel in their advertising. B: The only folks who were creating a parallel were the tech bloggers and reviewers, but guess what, tech geeks are almost 99% guaranteed to have seen Star Wars and treasure those movies as a high point in their childhood, it is only natural that they try to compare modern-day advances with the much-loved images of their youth. This is going to continue to happen as we move forward with technology. C: This issue would have gone right under the radar of most of the nations populace if Lucas and his company had not created the big issue over it in the first place.

So What am I saying? Simply this, George Lucas needs to get a little dose of reality and try to actually think before he sets these kind of actions into motion. If he really wanted to make some money he could have sent in some feelers to see if he could get in on the revenue of the product by actually sponsoring it as opposed to trying to kill something that in reality was never a threat to his licensed  material anyway. Perhaps he could take the money he saves from these ill-conceived notions and put them towards more productive and profitable ventures…. like hiring a  real writer and director to handle any movies he plans to put out in the future and keep his jar jar binks loving, crystal alien skull flaunting, actually thought having a young Anakin Skywalker be portrayed as a whinny little emo brat and thus destroying for many one of the most awesome and well-loved movie villans ever.. hands out of the movie making business forever.

At least, that’s how I see it.

Thanks to Doug Gross of CNN for the well written article.

© David Carl Dobbs and How Dobbs Sees it, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Carl Dobbs and How Dobbs Sees it with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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