Star Wars Actor Hassled by Airport Security, Rescued By Twitter

Chewbacca detained at airport securityEveryone has an airport security horror story, but it's much more rare to hear one that ends with the airline apologizing to the aggrieved.

Yet, that's exactly what happened after airport security stopped 69-year-old Star Wars actor Peter (Chewbacca) Mayhew, who uses a cane to walk. That the cane was longer than a standard size (Mayhew is 7'2") appeared to be the issue at hand, but it may have stuck out to security, too, becuase it was fashioned to look like a lightsaber.

"Won’t allow me through the airport with me cane! Giant man need giant cane. Small cane snap like toothpick. Besides, my lightsaber is just cool. I’d miss it," Mayhew tweeted after the cane was confiscated, and he wast old he would not be allowed on board as he made his way home following a convention appearance. Airport security said they were concerned the cane could be used as a weapon (because apparently they believe in the Force).

After tweeting a message asking his fan to retweet him and direct it at American Airlines, the head of security was apparently notified and intervened to see that Mayhew's cane was allowed to board with him. Ultimately they apologized for the situation--since he required the cane to walk, an exception should have been made since there was no evidence that the cane was modified in any way other than being long and interesting-looking.

Mayhew wrote after the incident, "Magic words to TSA are not "please" or "thank you".. It's "Twitter".. cane released to go home."