Ukrainian police took down one agitated Wookiee in Odessa on Sunday after they say Chewbacca was caught unlawfully canvassing for Darth Vader on the country’s voting day for local elections. Footage released shows four officers struggling to arrest a costumed, unidentified man dressed as the “Star Wars” character after he was stopped while driving a mayoral candidate dressed as Darth Vader to a polling station, and then failed to produce valid ID. Ukrainian elections laws forbid canvassing on voting day.
The fictional spaceship mechanic told media he was unable to pay a fine because his money was tied up in an intergalactic bank that does not have a branch on Earth, Sky News reported. The characters had been campaigning for Vader’s mayoral bid, but the day only ended in more disappointment when Vader arrived at the voting booth to discover he wasn’t registered to vote despite holding a Ukrainian passport under the name Darth Alekseyevich Vader.
The Star Wars-themed election antics are not unprecedented, with previous elections featuring candidates dressed as Chewbacca, Padme Amidala and Yoda from the “Stars War” franchise. The candidates are part of the Internet Party of Ukraine, which has garnered attention in the past for stunts such as parading Darth Vader through Kiev while flanked by stormtroopers and playing the Imperial March through loudspeakers, the BBC reported.
The Internet Party was founded in 2007, and campaigns mostly on a platform of providing Ukrainians with free computer lessons and switching from paperwork to digital media. On Friday, the party garnered more publicity when a former monument of Vladimir Lenin was unveiled in Odessa to be a refashioned statue of Darth Vader that also doubles as an internet Wi-Fi hotspot, Dumskaya reported. The transformation was in line with legislation passed earlier this year requiring Ukraine remove all communist symbols.
The Internet Party secured 0.36 percent of the vote in Ukraine’s 2014 parliamentary elections, but failed to secure a constituency seat. The nationwide local elections Sunday were seen as a referendum on the government of President Petro Poroshenko. Exit poll showed the governing coalition would likely keep its dominant position in the west and center of the country.