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'Star Wars' actor's lightsaber cane gets him detained by TSA

Peter Mayhew, the extremely tall man who plays Chewbacca, confounds TSA operatives in Denver with his lightsaber cane. Apparently, it was too long for their liking.

At what point, exactly, might they have felt silly?
Peter Mayhew/Twitter (with permission)

You may have occasionally encountered a certain dead-eyed stare from a Transportation Security Administration operative.

He might not like your name, your shorts, or the odd bulge in your jaw. So he stops you and asks deep questions, such as: "What do you have in your pockets, sir?"

Peter Mayhew, the 7-foot-tall gentleman who played Chewbacca in "Star Wars," discovered the boys from TSA had a different preoccupation -- whether his lightsaber cane was a dangerous weapon.

As Boing Boing reports, Mayhew was quietly proceeding through Denver airport, when his cane caught the beady eyes of the TSA.

Mayhew, however, was possessed of a force that these uniformed officers could barely comprehend. He picked up the lightsaber, waved it at them and mumbled: "If you don't let me through, you Vaders, you will get it from my saber."

Actually, it wasn't quite like that. Instead, he tweeted the event.

Captioning the picture of himself, looking more bored than forlorn, he offered these words: "Magic words to TSA are not "please" or "thank you".. It's "Twitter".. cane released to go home.. pic.twitter.com/pb4r8g3DH7."

Mayhew's explanation for this cane possession was very simple: "Giant man need giant cane.. small cane snap like toothpick.... besides.. my light saber cane is just cool.. I would miss it."

Who could possibly argue with that? Well, the TSA folks wanted to.

However, quite extraordinarily, American Airlines intervened. Mayhew is an extremely frequent flyer and it seems that someone from the airline may have whispered to the TSA: "Do you really think a famous actor is going to hijack a plane with a lightsaber cane?"

Or words with that same ultimate meaning.

This was not before some of Mayhew's Twitter followers made merry with this terrestrial nonsense.

One, Shane Moore, offered: "@TheWookieeRoars Chewie hijacks plane with light saber... takes passengers to Kashyyyk. Story tonight at 10!"

Mayhew returned home safely to Texas, his lightsaber cane still at his side.

You might think that the TSA had briefed its people that Wookiees ought not to be messed with.

They are charming beings, but if you cause them hurt or anger you might be the one left moaning.

Mind you, they were lucky this wasn't Harrison Ford. He would surely have floored them with his legendary faux ire.