June 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM ET
Everyone has his own way to deal with airport security -- some go with the flow, some show up naked. But the man who played Chewbacca in the "Star Wars" films had a different approach: Last week, when confronted with TSA agents who thought his cane looked suspicious, Peter Mayhew reached for his Twitter account -- not a light saber.
Of course, the light saber was at the center of the controversy. The 7-foot-3-inch hospital worker-turned-Chewbacca player uses a light saber-shaped cane to get around, and on June 3 TSA agents in Denver felt it was a suspicious item.
Mayhew, 69, was trying to fly from Denver Comic Con to his home in Texas. He needs the cane to get around -- and tweeted the incident as it was ongoing, noting that "magic words to TSA are not 'please' or 'thank you'. It's 'Twitter.'" He included a photo of himself sitting with a TSA agent holding the cane in question.
Later, the TSA released a statement that explained their agents' reactions: "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. Social media played no role in the determination."
And Mayhew had his own follow-up for Twitter readers:
The Force, and a good sense of humor, is strong with this one.