How closely can a game use a copyrighted name?

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I've already angered some experts w legal questions :D - not - I know I shouldn't hope for such binding certainty w, basically, friends!
If I put in a game, a character, npc called Brad Pitt, I'd get in trouble, but how strict are they on similar names,

like, Bradd McPitt, or Ranakin Slywalker? How does a similar character look factor. Space Quest III had the Vader v Obi-Wan duel in their hangar, briefly. I'm sure Sierra got legal permission. I think I saw that if you make a character that is in all black, helmet and laser sword, that is a no-no. What about a dead ringer for an Alien? (xenomorph)
What should I know!?
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Top Expert 2016
Consult with a copyright attorney. Many of us may or may not be in your jurisdiction. You may be fully within your rights but defending these rights if taken to court will cost you major amounts of money.

Brad McPitt may be legal as long as you don't use the image or likeness of Brad Pitt. Since you can't use the likeness why not just use your own made up name.

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