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Chewbacca Becomes U.S. Citizen

POSTED: 6:01 pm EDT October 17, 2005

ARLINGTON, Texas -- From a galaxy far, far away to Arlington, Texas, the actor who played Chewbacca in four "Star Wars" movies is now an American citizen.

Mayhew was one of 400 people who recited the citizenship oath in Arlington Monday. His presence in the audience was unmistakable.

That's because the actor is 7 feet 3 inches tall.

Mayhew is from Britain. He decided to become a U.S. citizen when he married a woman from Texas six years ago.

"I'll have a British passport, an American passport and a Wookiee passport," Mayhew joked, referring to his intergalactic travels from Chewbacca's "Star Wars" home of Kashyyyk.

Mayhew, 60, called Monday's ceremony "absolutely wonderful."

The actor signed autographs and posed for pictures after ceremonies.

Mayhew first played Chewbacca opposite Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in the 1977 sci-fi classic "Star Wars," which later added the sub-title "A New Hope."

He reprised the role for the other two films in the original trilogy: "Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back" and "Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi."

Mayhew returned to the role this summer for the last film in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, "Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith."

Mayhew's days of being known as Chewbacca are far from over.

He frequently makes appearances for fans at "Star Wars" conventions and yearly makes a trip to Disney World for the theme park's annual "Star Wars Weekends" celebration.
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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