Can You Bring a Lightsaber on Board?

My friend Emily recently took a flight with a sonic screwdriver.



She was in route from a Doctor Who conference.  And the TSA wanted to confiscate her sonic screwdriver.

She had to argue with them for a while about this (eventually asking for a supervisor).  Basically explaining that since a sonic screwdriver is fantasy technology, hers poses no risk to human kind.

If it were real, we’d have other issues on our hands.  (Not that I don’t trust you with power, Emily).

Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) got stopped in the airport for having a lightsaber.  He too had to explain that lightsaber technology did not actually exist, so he couldn’t harm anyone with his lightsaber.

Mr. Mayhew believes his live-tweeting of the event got his lightsaber (which he was using as a cane) released.

And a toddler was told he couldn’t fly with his toy lightsaber, so his mother quickly checked it rather than lose it.

But what is the official stance on fictional weapons?  I know the TSA’s position on lightsabers in particular.  But I assumed that its position was in response to the press over these previous situations.  Turns out this policy was in place the entire time.

Get this.  The TSA has an official policy that lightsabers (specifically!) are allowed through security.

When you search for lightsaber on the website, this is what you get:

light saber TSA

No official word on the sonic screwdriver.

Realistic depictions of firearms are not allowed, even if the passengers can prove they are fake.  However, the above items are realistic depictions of completely fictional items.

I think there’s a difference here.  Someone can threaten violence with a realistic depiction of a weapon.  If someone tried to threaten violence with a sonic screwdriver (aside from threatening to throw it at someone), I’m sure they’d get laughed at.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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