Star Wars has gone to the Dark Side, as George Lucas and Lucasfilm are reportedly threatening to sue a brewery over its Star Wars-themed beer.
According to Gothamist, the Syracuse-based Empire Brewing Company has been brewing its Empire’s Strikes Bock beer for seven years and currently serves the brew at its brewery. Empire was reportedly looking to trademark the name and sell the beer elsewhere, but George Lucas and the Disney-owned Lucasfilm took exception to that idea. They reportedly filed a legal notice to stop Empire from using the Strikes Bock name.
Brewery owner David Katleski said Lucasfilm had never expressed displeasure with the beer before, but Lucasfilm reportedly said the brew’s name could “cause confusion” and make people think the beer was associated with the official Star Wars brand, which it is not.
“It was never our intention to ‘increase confusion,’ but instead to simply pay homage to a great film, as many have done before,” an Empire Brewing Company spokesperson told Gothamist. “We don't believe that the name of our beer, 'Strikes Bock', infringes on any copyright laws. We at Empire Brewing are huge Star Wars fans and we hope that Lucasfilm will come to recognize ’Strikes Bock' as parody, the sincerest form of flattery.”