‘Star War’s Costumer Designer Beats George Lucas in Court
Andrew Ainsworth, the British prop designer who made the stormtroopers’ helmets for George Lucas’s Star Wars back in 1977, won a Supreme Court case in Britain today that gives him the right to sell replicas of the costumes (which go for around $2,500 a pop) without permission from the filmmaker or his studio — as long as he doesn’t ship them to the US.
According to ArtsBeat, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and Steven Spielberg, all wrote letters hoping to help tip the odds in Lucas’s favor, but ultimately had no impact on the court’s final decision: the helmets were props, not works of art, and as such, are not subject to British copyright law. “I am proud to report that in the English legal system David can prevail against Goliath if his cause is right,” Ainsworth said in a statement. “If there is a force, then it has been with me these past five years.”