News Article

Abusing the Force

A musical Chicago production of ''Star Wars'' has been ordered to ''cease and desist'' by Lucasfilm Ltd.

Press Release of the Week: On June 9, the Argos Agency, a Chicago-based theater company, released the following bulletin about the closing of its hugely popular stage show Jedi! A Musical Tour de Force, which had been playing to sellout crowds since opening in late February:

The Argos Agency sadly announces the temporary closing of Jedi! A Musical Tour de Force. The two-hour musical, which featured bucket-helmeted stormtroopers and teddy bears as Ewoks, received a ''cease and desist'' request on June 2 from the attorneys of Lucasfilm Ltd.... [Despite selling] over $300 million worth of movie tickets and some $4 billion in merchandising, Lucasfilm Ltd. claims that the Jedi! musical ''seriously jeopardizes our ability to profit from our licensing programs and threatens to cause us serious economic harm.''...

The show's producers are currently discussing the matter with Lucasfilm attorneys. ''So far they've been very nice,'' says Jason R. Chin, the show's coproducer and director. ''I hope that after they look at our show they'll realize that it's all done with love and give us their blessings to continue.''

''If not,'' responded Mike Ross, coproducer and the singing and dancing Luke Skywalker, ''then this definitely cancels our plans for musical versions of Willow and Howard the Duck.''

A spokesperson for Lucasfilm would only say, ''This was an unauthorized production that has been discontinued.''

Originally posted Jun 27, 1997 Published in issue #385-386 Jun 27, 1997 Order article reprints
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