May the police force be with you: Chewbacca arrested at Ukraine polls
ODESSA, Ukraine - A man dressed as Star Wars character Chewbacca was detained and fined for disobeying police during local polls in Ukraine on Sunday.
The Wookiee warrior - an activist from a marginal political party - was apprehended by police in the southwestern city of Odessa after refusing to present his ID as he posed alongside children near a polling station, a local court said.
Video footage from the arrest showed a growling Chewbacca resisting four law enforcement officers, who were forced to pin him down on the hood of a van to handcuff him.
A local court handed Chewbacca a 170-hryvnia fine ($7.40) for disobeying police orders.
Chewbacca, who had reportedly driven a candidate dressed as Darth Vader to the polling station, later told local media he could not pay the fine because his "intergalactic bank" did not have a branch on Earth.
The local electoral commission registered 48 candidates from the Darth Vader Block political party, including 44 individuals with the last name Vader, a local news site reported.
Another candidate - posing as Sheev Palpatine, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire - was elected to the Odessa city council.
Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca, the Jedi Master Yoda and Princess Amidala had tried their luck in last year's parliamentary poll in full costume, all without success.
Many of these offbeat candidates represent the tiny Pirate Party of Ukraine - one of more than 40 groups that have sprung up worldwide in defence of Internet freedoms and limits on copyright laws.
Last week, a Soviet-era statue of Lenin was transformed into one of Darth Vader in the city, an homage to the oddly prominent figure in local politics.
Western-backed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's fragile ruling coalition faced a major survival test Sunday in local elections marred swiftly by polls failing to open in the strategic port of Mariupol and another small eastern town.