For those who don't know, Ainsworth was one of the original prop makers for the iconic Stormtrooper costume from the Star Wars movie way back in 1977. And back in the day, Stormtrooper helmets didn't just pop off a factory line; they were hand-made.
In this semi-instructional video, Ainsworth shows how the original Stormtrooper helmet was made. The process includes the use of lots of carving tools, scissors, hole punchers, paper fasteners, hot glue guns and materials like plasticine, aluminum dust, resin, short glass fiber strands and more. My favorite part? The vacuum forming machine. Love watching that helmet bubble up to life.
In recent news, George Lucas and his Lucasfilm company sued Ainsworth to other side of the universe. Lucasfilm claimed that Ainsworth's use of original Stormtrooper molds to build replica costumes, which he then sold around the world was a copyright infringement.
Guess what? Lucas and his Jar Jar Binks empire crushed Ainsworth, barring the prop maker from selling Stormtrooper helmet replicas in the U.S., but in the U.K. the man was a hero — he went up against the Empire and won. The British high court ruled that "helmet replicas are not protected by copyright law because they're not considered works of art -sacrilege."
Needless to say, Ainsworth is now allowed to continue selling his Stormtrooper helmet replicas anywhere but in the U.S.
Warning, the video is a long one (about 13 minutes), but if you don't fall asleep midway, you might end up a little more appreciative of the term "handmade."