Few cultural properties have both the longevity and influence of Star Wars. You can see the love even beyond the walls of Comic-Con – fans have taken elements from the films and brought them to the real world it what can be seen as either dedication or lunacy. Australia recently had to ask its citizens not to list "Jedi" as their religion in their national census. Countless couples have made Star Wars the theme to their wedding. And while that level of fandom is all that any film franchise can hope to aspire to, the companies behind these tent-pole franchises are vigilant when ti comes to stopping those who they think are trying to profit off the popularity.
Lucasfilm is taking steps to shut down the Lightsaber Academy, which is run by Star Wars fan Michael Brown and offers classes purporting to teach students how to use the mythic weapons of the Jedi which are more commonly known as glowing plastic sticks. Lucasfilm has accused Brown of infringing on multiple trademarks owned by the company after applying for and not receiving permission to use them. The Lightsaber Academy uses a logo that is similar to the logo of the Jedi Order owned by Lucasfilm, in addition to Brown's use the words Jedi and Lightsaber in marketing his academy, as well as his other sites like New York Jedi and Lightsaber Guild.
Lucasfilm is seeking an injunction to stop Brown from using these marks in his businesses as well as damages in the amount of $2 million for each instance of infringement (a hefty fee considering the monastic lifestyle of a Jedi.) While this might seem a harsh measure against someone who is clearly a fan of the franchise, well-intentioned infringement is infringement nonetheless, and Lucasfilm are amongst the most litigious companies when it comes to protecting their coveted IP portfolio. The studio sued a brewer in 2014 that had created a "Empire Strikes Bock"drink for similarly infringing upon their trademark (and creating a terrible pun.) Indeed, over the years Lucasfilm has been unafraid to challenge any and all who have tried to misappropriate the sci-fi epic, from replica merchandise creators to rappers and even the Reagan administration. But managing your brand, especially one as big as Star Wars, requires diligent attention; infringers can be easily frightened, but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers.