How the ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper Landed in Solana NFT Game MixMob

MixMob, a Solana-based gaming brand, announced Thursday that it will add the Stormtrooper character from “Star Wars: A New Hope” as an NFT collectible and playable character for its Racer 1 game that mashes up racing and card-based strategy. But there’s some interesting nuance to this license deal.

While the licensed character is indeed the iconic Stormtropper from the original 1977 smash sci-fi film, this deal wasn’t brokered with Disney or Lucasfilm, or anyone representing them. Instead, the deal is with Shepperton Design Studios and original “Star Wars” prop maker Andrew Ainsworth.

Ainsworth designed the familiar white-armored soldier from the original film. Decades later, when he started producing and selling replica helmets based on his own design, Lucasfilm unleashed its lawyers and triggered a years-long legal battle. Ultimately, when it was all said and done, Ainsworth secured limited rights to commercialize the design.

And that’s what you’ll see in MixMob: the “Original Stormtrooper” character. This isn’t a Disney deal or a wide-ranging “Star Wars” license play—but it is indeed the official Stormtrooper design from the prop maker who initially brought it to life.

A MixMob representative confirmed to Decrypt’s GG that the game studio cannot use Star Wars branding and that the deal, in this case, is limited to the armor design from “A New Hope.”

Even so, it’s a memorable piece of a major pop culture franchise coming into an NFT game that aims to deliver a taste of “remix culture,” and the studio says that it plans to bring other licensed characters and content into MixMob as a mobile version of the game is set to debut in Q2 2024. MixMob aims to announce three additional license integrations this year.

Sale details for the Stormtrooper NFTs have not yet been revealed. According to the team, owners of MixMob's Gen0 Masks and Gen0 MixBots NFTs will be given “priority access” to the mint.

MixMob’s Solana-based governance token, MXM, is up nearly 15% on the day to a price of above $0.10 per data from CoinGecko. The token, which debuted on February 1 with an airdrop to reward early players and NFT owners, set an all-time high price of $0.1136 last week.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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