Stephen Colbert lampoons TSA for 'Chewbacca' actor run-in

"You may say this was an unnecessary overreach, but I, for one, am relieved the TSA has finally joined the Empire in their fight against the Rebel Alliance," Colbert continued. "Some Alderaans out there might say that this guy Peter Mayhew was merely an actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movie, but think about it, wouldn't that be the best undercover disguise for Chewbacca?"

The TSA said on Tuesday that Mayhew was stopped because his cane was large, not because it was designed to look like a light saber. 

"Because of the unusual weight of the passenger's cane, a security officer alerted a supervisor," the agency said in a statement. "Less than five minutes later, the passenger and cane were cleared to travel."

The TSA's website contains an entry for light sabers in its application for checking its prohibited items list.

"Sadly, the technology doesn't currently exist to create a real light saber," the TSA website says in response to a search for "light saber." "However, you can pack a toy light saber in your carry-on or checked bag. May the force be with you."

The agency said the entry existed "well before" the clamor caused by Mayhew's tweet.  

Mayhew credited his original tweet for the resolution of his standoff with the TSA. 

"Magic words to TSA are not 'please' or 'thank you'.. It's 'Twitter'.. cane released to go home," he wrote in a message accompanying his original picture.