George Lucas defeated by Stormtrooper helmet man
Beardy billionaire beaten by brave Brit
Andrew Ainsworth, the man who designed the Imperial Stormtrooper uniforms, has won the right to sell replicas.
George Lucas has been suing Ainsworth since at least 2008 and the case finally ended up in London's Supreme Court.
Ainsworth made the original helmets in 1977 – the legal action treated the helmets as the paradigm for the whole case.
Lucas described the uniforms as: "fascist white-armoured suits". The director then worked with Nick Pemberton, Ralph McQuarrie and Ainsworth to finalise the design. Ainsworth was responsible for the vacumn-molding of the helmets. He made 50 for the original filming.
Ainsworth later sold replicas and made between $8,000 and $30,000 in total. A company controlled by billionaire Lucas won damages in a California court of $20m.
Star Wars nerds are already complaining because the judgement states: "The Star Wars films are set in an imaginary, science-fiction world of the future".
We called Ainsworth's Shepperton Design Studios, which promised to forward their lawyers' press release. In the meantime we were told: "We're pretty damn pleased..."
The release said: "Mr Lucas was joined in the litigation by a supporting cast of some of the best known film makers in the world, including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron and Jon Landau, who wrote letters of intervention to the Supreme Court in an attempt to tip the balance against Mr Ainsworth."
Andrew Ainsworth said: "I am delighted to have won the right to continue to make these replicas from the original tools and moulds. It has been a huge struggle, and an enormous distraction, for me to defend for so long against a determined billionaire with an army of lawyers and the support of leading film makers. I can now focus on producing authentic replicas for serious collectors of these items in the UK."
He thanked his legal team and said it showed that David could still beat Goliath.
Ainsworth can continue to make the costumes without Lucas's permission but may not export to the US. ®
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