Star Wars Sabacc

Disney, who now own literally everything along with Star Wars, have filed a federal trademark lawsuit in an effort to stop a mobile app game based on Sabacc, a card game that was created for the Star Wars universe. Sabacc was first referenced in The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars novels later revealed that Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabacc – a fact that’s likely to come up at some point in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

What is Sabacc? For those not entirely well-versed in all-things Star Wars (like me!), it’s a card game that was first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, and expanded on in subsequent Star Wars extended universe novels (head on over to Wookieepedia to learn more than you could possibly ever want to know about Sabacc!). In 2015, Ren Ventures (no relation to Kylo Ren) began selling a Sabacc mobile game. While the game doesn’t actually mention Star Wars, its description makes plenty of allusions to the franchise:

From a Cantina far, far away to your mobile device, welcome to the world’s largest Sabacc site. Play this high stakes card game online with friends, or gain experience and build up your skills in singleplayer mode. Keep your cards close to your chest, bet, bluff and make use of the interference field to avoid the Sabacc Shift. Improve your skills and put it all together to win the Sabacc pot and become a Cloud City legend!

To go along with the game, Ren Ventures also applied for a U.S. trademark for the term “Sabacc.” Disney, who now own Star Wars (along with pretty much everything else), aren’t thrilled about this, and according to Variety, the House of Mouse has filed a federal trademark lawsuit in an effort to block the mobile app.

Per Variety, Ren Ventures are arguing that Lucasfilm never bothered to trademark the term “Sabacc”, and instead used the “Star Wars” trademark to distinguish it. “The rare, intermittent appearance of ‘Sabacc’ on the packaging for games about Star Wars…does not render ‘Sabacc’ a trademark for these games,” states a motion from Ren Ventures.

Disney, who clearly aren’t buying this argument, shot back: “There can be no question that Defendants’ mobile game is intended to, and does, copy and appropriate Plaintiffs’ Sabacc game in order to capitalize on the goodwill of the Sabacc Mark and the Star Wars franchise.” Disney’s now hopes to ban Ren Ventrues from using the term Sabacc.

It’s worth noting that the Star Wars extended universe novels reveal that Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from his good buddy Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabacc – a fact that was later confirmed as still being in cannon by the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. This likely indicates that Disney and Lucasfilm are planning to bring this detail up in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars, which focuses on Han Solo’s early days, and features Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han and Donald Glover as a young Lando. Sabacc isn’t the most well-known element of Star Wars lore, but having it be featured in Solo will likely help bring it more mainstream attention, which would give Disney an extra incentive to stop Ren Ventures from using the name.

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