The growling, hairy spaceship mechanic from Star Wars was fined an equivalent of $7.50 on Sunday, after breaking the country's election laws, as he attempted to canvass voters for… Darth Vader.
The detention of the erstwhile companion of smuggler-turned-hero Han Solo, who appears to have turned to the Dark Side, happened in the port city of Odessa. Chewbacca drove Darth Vader to a polling station, but police arrested him for violating a law that forbids campaigning on election day. They were also dismayed when he failed to produce a valid ID, and resisted arrest.
Chewbacca later told the media that he was unable to pay the fine 170 hryvna fine "as his funds are an intergalactic bank that has no branches on this planet."
Lord Vader complained about the detention of his supporter. He also said he failed to cast his own ballot as he was missing from the voter registry — despite the fact he has a Ukrainian passport, issued for Darth Alekseyevich Vader.
Ukrainians are casting ballots in a poll that is viewed by many as a confidence vote for the ruling coalition, which has lost much of its popularity following 20 months of economic hardships. Despite the somber mood, there were a number of strange incidents that took place around the country.
In Kiev, a station where President Petro Poroshenko voted opened late because the chair of the election commission lost the key to a safe, which contained the ballot papers. The safe was cracked open with a rotating saw, which allowed the president and others to vote.
A somewhat frightening confrontation happened in the city of Berdyansk in south eastern Ukraine. One of the voters came in the company of a bodyguard armed with an assault rifle. Police insisted that the gunman left the premises, after which his client voted. It’s not clear why the authorities did not detain the armed bodyguard, who seemed to be taking his job a little too seriously.
And in the village Libokhora near in the Lvov Region, commission members asked voters to cast ballots in different boxes depending on who they voted for. They said it would make counting the ballots much easier.
The day saw more serious issues as well. In two eastern cities, the election was cancelled altogether, with the authorities and the opposition accusing each other of derailing the vote.