A word to the wise: Don’t mess with exceptionally-tall guys in wheelchairs traveling with walking canes — especially when those canes just so happen to resemble fully-deployed Star Wars lightsabers.
When Star Wars’ Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, 69 — who owns such a cosmetically weaponized cane — attempted to pass through Denver International Airport’s security checkpoint last week, Transportation Security Administration agents there apparently tried to confiscate the 7-foot, 2-inch tall actor’s, umm, cane-saber despite his explanation that he needed it to walk, reports Fort Worth, Texas NBC affiliate NBC 5.
Mayhew, who was traveling back to his home in North Texas last week, was eventually allowed to board with cane intact, but not until he’d posted about the kerfuffle to his more than 27,000 twitter followers from his account, @thewookieroars. (Tagline: “The OFFICIAL twitter of Actor, Author & the man behind the mask of CHEWBACCA! This is where The Wookiee Roars… and Tweets!”)
TSA later emailed CNN.com a statement explaining its version of events: “Because of the unusual weight of the passenger’s cane, a security officer alerted a supervisor. Less than five minutes later, the passenger and cane were cleared to travel.”
Here is the first tweet Mayhew wrote about the incident:
Shortly thereafter, Mayhew tweeted again, explaining why he needed the cane.
Giant man need giant cane.. small cane snap like toothpick…. besides.. my light saber cane is just cool.. I would miss it..—
Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) June 03, 2013
By Monday, June 10, quips about the incident were flying, including this one (with picture) by amateur comedian Phil Walker.
And here’s Mayhew’s last tweet on the matter as of June 11: