Strange But True

Peter Mayhew, aka Chewbacca, delayed at DIA over light-saber cane

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, robot R2D2 is playing Chewbacca, a giant creature known as a wookiee, in a game of chess -- and Chewie is getting frustrated. At that point, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) notes that wookiees have been known to pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose, prompting this piece of advice from R2D2 sidekick C3PO: "Let the wookiee win." Guess security personnel at Denver International Airport forgot that scene when they confiscated a light-saber-shaped cane from Peter Mayhew, the actor who plays Chewbacca.

Mayhew was in town for Denver Comic Con, and the week after the event, he tweeted the following:

The message was accompanied by this photo: In another tweet, he added this bit of detail: Turns out TSA agents had nabbed the stylish cane used by Mayhew, who's 69 years old and more than seven feet tall. As he explains in tweet three, the item isn't merely a prop: Mayhew took the incident in good humor -- good news for airport personnel who enjoy the use of both arms. Indeed, after getting out of Denver, Mayhew headed to Disneyland, where he scored this sweet pair of Chewie-style mouse ears: He also delighted as the international media slowly got hip to what happened. In recent days, stories about his DIA experience have popped up in the New York Post, MSN, the Hollywood Reporter and more. The result may be more mainstream articles about Mayhew than he's enjoyed in decades -- and he's gleefully retweeted plenty of them.

Maybe he should thank those TSA agents....

Here's the classic Star Wars chess scene:

More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: May the 4th be with you this Star Wars Day!"

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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