Here’s another Star Wars news story that is rooted in the Original film Trilogy that started the whole saga in the late 70s and early 80s. Just this Thursday, December 21, has taken action against a software firm for developing a mobile app that purportedly recreates the card game of Sabacc, mentioned in the Star Wars films and the Legends series of books, formerly known as the Expanded Universe.
A scene in the second Original Trilogy Star Wars Movie, The Empire Strikes Back, has the Sabacc card game mentioned by name. The novels elaborate on the event where Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) originally lost the Millennium Falcon’s ownership to Han Solo (Harrison Ford) by gambling, stating that they were playing Sabacc when it happened.
Ren Ventures released a mobile app in 2015 depicting a special card game they identify to be Sabacc, as it might have been played in the Star Wars galaxy. They registered the Sabacc name as a trademark in 2016, spurring Disney to issue a challenge this year, demanding that the registration be cancelled to avoid brand confusion. Lucasfilm merchandise had released a short-lived Sabacc card game years before their acquisition by Disney.
In their defense, Ren Ventures argued that Lucasfilm never bothered to trademark the name Sabacc itself, merely grouping it with the general Star Wars trademark. Disney’s point however, is that the rules in Ren Ventures’ Sabacc game app is an exact mimic of how the game was fictionally played in the Star Wars setting.
Disney therefore wants Ren Ventures to take down its game app and be barred from using the name Sabacc, along with proprietary damages and such as expected. Ren Ventures has yet to reply to this.
This is all interesting to note, considering that the spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story, chronicling a past adventure of young Han Solo (Alden Ehernreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), is due to premiere in cinemas on May of 2018. Whether or not the Sabacc game that cost Lando the Millennium Falcon to Han will be depicted here, only time will tell.