'Star Wars' Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew detained by TSA for light saber cane

Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca. Getty Images, 20th Century Fox
Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca.

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.

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