Star Wars vs. Galactica: case dismissed

Battlestar GalacticaLong after Glen A. Larson’s science fiction series Battlestar Galactica has completed its run, a California judge throws out 20th Century Fox’s 1978 lawsuit, which alleged that Galactica was too close to elements of Star Wars for the studio’s comfort. (Also at issue, though not specifically mentioned in the legal proceedings, was Universal Studios’ hiring of such Star Wars personnel as FX guru John Dykstra and illustrator Ralph McQuarrie to work on Galactica.) Universal’s television series is declared different enough in key areas to not be considered a rip-off – small comfort for the studio, since ABC cancelled had the series earlier in the year. Still, Galactica’s legal status will come into play later, as Universal will later reassert and exploit its rights to the basic Battlestar Galactica storyline in the 21st century. This is not the end of the lawsuit, however; much like both franchises, it too is revived in 1983, and Universal is ordered to pay 20th Century Fox a settlement of nearly a quarter million dollars in 1984.

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