The State

A federal judge in San Francisco rejected an artist's claims that his ideas for space creatures were stolen by producer George Lucas for his 1980 blockbuster film, "The Empire Strikes Back." U.S. District Judge William Orrick threw out the copyright infringement suit filed by former Mendocino County resident Lee M. Seiler, saying that the artist's reliance on copies and reconstructions of his own work left "serious doubt" about the honesty of his claims. Seiler said he could not produce the originals because they were destroyed in a 1979 flood. Still pending, however, is another federal suit in which Seiler makes similar claims concerning another Lucas film, "Return of the Jedi."

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