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Sabacc to the Future: lawsuit filed to protect Han Solo's favorite card game

Contributed by
Dec 22, 2017

The Millennium Falcon wouldn’t have the legacy is has without the card game Sabacc. This is the Star Wars card game, referenced in The Empire Strikes Back, that Han Solo won against Lando Calrissian for the legendary Kessel runner. Now, Disney is filing a trademark lawsuit in order to protect its rights to it.

Variety reports that “In 2015, a company called Ren Ventures began selling Sabacc as a mobile game. The company also applied for a U.S. trademark for the term 'Sabacc,' which was registered in 2016. In May 2017, Disney challenged the registration, arguing it should be canceled because it was likely to create customer confusion.”

The counter-argument against Disney is that they Sabacc was never specifically trademarked since its inception, rather being pushed under the blanket Star Wars trademark of Lucasfilm. The mobile company’s representatives argued in a motion before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that, “The rare, intermittent appearance of Sabacc on the packaging for games about Star Wars… does not render Sabacc a trademark for these games.”

The mobile game contains the exact rules of the in-universe game, and, with the new Solo coming out on May 25, 2018, it makes sense that Disney would want all tangential properties lined up and solved before its premiere. As Variety notes, however, it’s unclear “if Disney plans to feature Sabacc in any of its own Star Wars merchandise for the film.” That doesn’t mean no, though.

Will we see young Han beat Donald Glover’s Lando in a climactic game and win the Falcon? If Disney wins this trademark claim, they’ll have every right to put full gameplay in the film - which could work well as fan service, considering how loyal the franchise’s new episodes have been to the old ship.