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Star Wars Stormtrooper costume rights?


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#1 Eric Black

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 04:10 AM

Hello, we are working on a short film, and there is one dream sequence in it where a movie/comic book/computer geek is walking down a street in full Star Wars Stormtrooper gear.

The scene is not vital, but I am wondering for a small project that is not for profit, but would be shown at festivals, what the process would be to possibly be able to use the image of the stormtrooper costume, as Im assuming this is something that would be trademarked?

Anyone cannot just use this costume whenever they want (on screen) can they? It's someone's 'property' is it not?
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:15 AM

I'd imagine that Lucasfilm hold the rights to the design and you would have to clear the use with them. I tried to clear a Star Wars poster to be featured on a boy's bedroom wall and they refused permission.

However, you could make a costume that is remarkably similar, but differs in some key aspects.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:11 AM

Hello, we are working on a short film, and there is one dream sequence in it where a movie/comic book/computer geek is walking down a street in full Star Wars Stormtrooper gear.

The scene is not vital, but I am wondering for a small project that is not for profit, but would be shown at festivals, what the process would be to possibly be able to use the image of the stormtrooper costume, as Im assuming this is something that would be trademarked?

Anyone cannot just use this costume whenever they want (on screen) can they? It's someone's 'property' is it not?


You're usually okay to use a Start Wars costume in a short film without any problem. There have been A LOT of Star Wars Fan Films made over the years. Just so long as you're not selling the movie or passing it off as a creation of Lucasfilm, you'll be okay.

Go to http://www.501stlegion.org for the official fan costuming group for help and other advice when dealing specifically with Star Wars costuming.

Good luck!
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#4 Walter Graff

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

Fun fact: While in college at the University of Arizona, I was supposed to be one of the trooper like characters in the beginning scene of Star Wars 3 (just realized it was VI I think, in my day the first Star wars was 1) which was shot in the dessert in Page. I had been fitted and all but the night before the shoot I got to drunk and never made it.
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 02:54 PM

Fun fact: While in college at the University of Arizona, I was supposed to be one of the trooper like characters in the beginning scene of Star Wars 3 (just realized it was VI I think, in my day the first Star wars was 1) which was shot in the dessert in Page. I had been fitted and all but the night before the shoot I got to drunk and never made it.


Yup. sounds like college. I wish you had made it though. Would have been hillarious to see the hung over sluggish storm trooper.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:45 PM

You're usually okay to use a Start Wars costume in a short film without any problem. There have been A LOT of Star Wars Fan Films made over the years. Just so long as you're not selling the movie or passing it off as a creation of Lucasfilm, you'll be okay.


You can get away with a lot of things as long as you're not trying to sell it. On my film everything had to cleared for possible sales.
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#7 Eric Black

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:33 PM

What do you think about it being played at festivals though? It's not going to make money, but it would be shown publically.

Brian mentioned making a costume that is very similar, but with key differences, is that feasable? Even though most people would say 'Oh that's a stormtrooper costume', it's recognizable, but "different" from an 'actual' stormtrooper costume.
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