Lucasfilm sues Star Wash, Chilean ‘Star Wars’-themed car wash

December 28, 2023 - 6:03 PM
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Image by Daniel Chung via Reuters

 Walt Disney DIS.N production company Lucasfilm is suing a themed carwash on the outskirts of Chilean capital Santiago for plagiarizing its multibillion-dollar galactic film and television saga “Star Wars,” lawyers for the carwash said.

Star Wash has shared videos on social media showing attendants dressed as “Star Wars” characters such as Chewbacca or a Stormtrooper wiping down hoods, bounty hunter Boba Fett and hero Cassian Andor wielding hosepipes instead of blasters and Darth Vader appearing to use The Force to summon cleaning cloths.

The law firm representing the carwash said that while owner Matias Jara was in the process of registering his brand with Chilean patent authority INAPI, he received a lawsuit from the franchise’s creator, Lucasfilm.

Jara’s lawyers said the U.S. movie production firm wanted to block the registration of the name and had argued that the brand could be confused as being affiliated with them. It has not raised issues with the attendants, they said.

Lucasfilm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jara is contesting the suit, according to his lawyers, who argue that the name is sufficiently different from the movie franchise to avoid confusion and that the production company’s copyright, while covering products such as toys, furniture and non-alcoholic drinks, does not extend to cleaning cars.

“Of course this lawsuit is affecting us. We’re a small business and we’re spending on things we hadn’t budgeted for,” Jara said in an interview.

He said his young daughter had thought of the wordplay while on a family trip to a Disney theme park in the United States that features a “Star Wars” area.

“We don’t make movies or sell their products or anything like that,” Jara added, noting that his business was, however, a “stellar” car wash.

— Reporting by Nicolas Cortes in Santiago; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Mark Porter