This weekend’s local elections in Ukraine were marred by electoral fraud, vote-buying, and one particularly disturbing incident: the arrest of a man wearing a Chewbacca costume.
The Wookiee, real name unknown, was driving fellow “Star Wars” character Darth Vader—an anonymous candidate in the elections—to the polls in Odessa when he was detained for illegally campaigning on election day, and for failing to present the appropriate identification.
Ukrainian police posted a picture of the scuffle:
The caption according to the Guardian, reads: “Nothing unusual here, just Chewbacca detained for being without documents while driving Darth Vader to the elections in Odessa. The Sith Lord has already claimed this was illegal as Chewbacca is his pet and general servant and thus does not require documents.”
Note: Chewie’s trademark groans appear to be added to the footage:
Chewie was later sent to court for his transgression, and ordered to pay the equivalent of $7.50.
Darth Vader was prevented from casting his ballot, because his name was not on the list of voters. He faced a similar issue in last year’s general election in Kiev, when he ran for prime minister. The proliferation of Vader candidates (16 in the previous election!) is the work of the Ukraine’s Internet Party, which aims to lighten up the country’s fraught political situation. Chewbacca, Queen Amidala, and Yoda have also appeared on candidate lists in the past.
Darth Vader seems to be particularly popular in Odessa, where a statue of Vladimir Lenin was transformed just last week.