Chewbacca actor, TSA dispute: Peter Mayhew's light saber cane prohibited past airport security.

Chewbacca Actor Uses the Force of Twitter to Battle the TSA

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Slate's Culture Blog
June 10 2013 12:59 PM

Chewbacca Actor Uses the Force of Twitter to Battle the TSA   

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Peter Mayhew, with his light saber cane

Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Peter Mayhew, the 7-foot-3-inch actor who played the iconic Wookiee Chewbacca, didn’t have the best traveling experience last week. While traveling from Denver back to his homestate of Texas, Mayhew’s cane—shaped, appropriately, like a light saber—was denied entry onboard his flight by Transportation Security Administration agents.

While attempting to explain that he needed the cane for assistance, Mayhew waited in a wheelchair. The agents apparently weren’t going to allow the cane on board because it was “too long,” a point that the extremely tall actor took issue with.

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But—possibly thanks to the powerful coercive force of Twitter, though the TSA denies it was a factor—American Airlines took notice and made everything right again with one of their frequent flyers. Mayhew was allowed to board his flight, light saber in hand.


Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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