Published October 20, 2016
The Force just isn't strong enough at two New York-based Star Wars-themed schools.
Lucasfilm, which has been owned by the Walt Disney Company since 2012, a, is suing the operators of two programs that teach students how to use lightsabers and act like true Jedi warriors.
At the New York Jedi School, students can take part in “the best light saber choreo classes anywhere on the East Coast,” while the Lightsaber Academy, a San Francisco based enterprise started the Jedi School's Flynn Michael. offers certification for individuals aiming to be a “Lightsaber Instructor.”
But Disney says neither of these programs is on par with its real Jedi masters and, more importantly, they're infringing on one of the world's most recognized brands.
In a complaint filed in a California federal court Friday, Lucasfilm alleges that the defendants at the schools used the company’s trademarks without permission. The suit also claims that the New York school applied to register trademarks for “New York Jedi” and that their Light Saber Academy logo looks too similar to the one already trademarked by the film company.
The defendants say they have repeatedly attempted to obtain Lucasfilm’s approval to use the trademarked terms but those requests were denied, the complaint said. Lucasfilm also claimed to have sent multiple cease-and-desist demands to the NY Jedi School. According to the suit, both of the trademark applications were filed after the Disney-owned company served the defendants with a request to stop using the trademarked terms.
Lucasfilm is seeking an injunction stopping the defendants from using the marks, orders to destroy all infringing materials, a transfer of the allegedly offending URLs to Lucasfilm and a withdrawal of all related trademark applications. The company is also demanding up to $2 million in statutory damages for each trademark that was infringed upon.
But don't despair, young Padawans.
Official “Jedi Training” is available for preschoolers, kids and young adults at Walt Disney World. In Disney's programs, students “learn how to use the Force—and their wit—to wield lightsabers.”
For older pupils who want to wield the Force's most iconic weaponry, Disney recently filed a patent that could make “Star Wars” lightsabers a reality. The park is currently building 14-acre Star Wars theme parks at Disney World and Disneyland and its application for an “Audience Interaction Projection System” implies that visitors at the new parks could experience a hyper realistic lightsaber experience.