Trinity College Dublin’s legal advisors were recently considering taking action against George Lucas and his company Lucas Films after the remarkable similarities between Trinity’s historic Long Room library and the Jedi Archive Room, which featured in the most recent Star Wars movie, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, were brought to their attention. The similarities are obvious from the arched barrel vault running the length of the room to the double height book shelves. Even the placements of the plinths and busts in the Jedi Archive Room mirror those of the Long Room, which was designed by renowned architect Thomas Burgh and was built between 1712-1732. The timber barrel vaulted ceiling was added in 1858 to create more space for books.
The college may have had grounds to sue if the library had been portrayed in an “inappropriate situation.” But if they are unable to prove that Attack of the Clones had damaged their reputation, they might have other grounds to sue for “unauthorized use of image or reputation.” However, it is thought unlikely that Trinity will pursue the case. A spokesperson for George Lucas stated that “it is totally untrue that there is any connection between the scene in Attack of the Clones and Trinity College,” and according to the official Star Wars website, www.starwars.com, the “stately architecture and vaulted ceilings of the Jedi Archives Room were inspired by a variety of real-world libraries, including the Vatican and those found in old English estates.” Trinity appears prepared to accept this for now. According to Lucas Films spokesperson Jeanne Cole, the company received a “very friendly letter” from the college in early November with the gist of it being that legal action was not a likely option. ♦