The TSA announced it would halt its proposal to let small knives and golf clubs go through security onto planes as carry-on items last week after months of backlash. So, it most likely would come as no surprise that a large, light saber-shaped cane got special inspection — even if it did belong to the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies.
TSA agents in Denver briefly stopped “Star Wars” franchise actor Peter Mayhew recently as he was boarding a flight with a cane shaped like one of science-fiction film’s most iconic weapons.
Airport officials say they wanted to inspect the huge walking stick before allowing Mayhew, who is more than 7 feet tall, on the plane.
Mayhew tweeted “Giant man need giant cane” from his verified Twitter account when the incident happened June 3. He also posted photos showing a TSA agent holding the replica light saber sword, which comes up to his chest.
Here are a few more tweets of the event which happened early last week:
Many subsequent media reports made it seem as though security officials buckled to pressure from Chebacca’s fans in allowing the actor to board the flight to Dallas with the cane, but officials say that characterization is inaccurate.
“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,” the TSA said in a brief statement released to The Associated Press on Saturday.
There was no word on whether agents were initially suspicious that Chewie had a weapon more commonly associated with other “Star Wars” characters, including Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Yoda.
Attempts to contact Mayhew, 69, for comment – or roar – were not immediately successful.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.