Special Characters, Special Cases
All the world loves a hero. He need not be mythic, but he is always larger than life. Today the hero is very much a part of popular culture. From the legal perspective, the hero as archetype is in the public domain; he is part of psychology's collective unconscious. By definition, everyone has access to him in one form or another. But when archetypal heroes are created for the popular arts they are properties--and extraordinarily valuable ones at that.
Heroes of the popular arts take on pecuniary value because they provide something special to their audiences. But, as was suggested in the case of Star Wars in chapter 3, this special relationship can actually interfere with management of the attendant intellectual property rights. The principal characters from Star Wars, most notably Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, are powerful images that individual members of their immense audience assimilate for themselves. This taking can be a powerful force in assuring a healthy future for the properties, but it can also be dangerous to the proprietor of the characters. Under the law, a popular hero can be loved to death: the authors of the various intellectual properties risk loss of