A British boat builder is taking on the might of Star Wars creator GEORGE LUCAS because he's confident he has every right to sell stormtrooper helmets he helped create on the internet.

Shepperton Design Studios boss ANDREW AINSWORTH crafts the authentic helmets in his basement in Twickenham, London from moulds he made for the original Star Wars movie in 1977 and then sells them in cyberspace for $800 (GBP444) each.

But his enterprising project has upset Lucas, who insists Ainsworth has no right to cash in on Star Wars - and the movie maker has filed a lawsuit in a bid to stop the Brit.

A defiant Ainsworth tells US news show CELEBRITY JUSTICE, "I think it's basically an attitude of big companies just squeezing out whoever."

He insists he's simply utilising moulds he created for Lucas' artists.

He explains, "It was 30 years ago and an artist friend of mine who Lucas had found took the opportunity to say he could do them (moulds) and what he really meant was, `I know a man that can do them.' I'm the man, so I created them for him.

"The first 50 helmets I sold to him for 35 pounds each."

But, in his lawsuit, Lucas claims Ainsworth didn't create the look and has no right to copy the gear, which was based on Lucas Films own artwork.

29/06/2005 03:05