May 25, 2007 / 3:36 AM / 13 years ago

Force against Australian Star Wars fan

A Star Wars Stormtrooper stands during the opening day of "Star Wars Celebration IV" in Los Angeles, May 24, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian movie fan on his way to pose for a Star Wars 30th anniversary photo shoot was arrested by police after his replica laser pistol was mistaken for a more earthly machine gun, media reported on Friday.

The 32-year-old man, dressed in black and carrying a backpack with a replica laser blaster poking out the side, alarmed diners at a food court in central Melbourne.

“It was a replica gun. We weren’t sure what we were dealing with,” Senior-Constable Daniel Sage told the Herald Sun newspaper. Photographs showed a gun closely resembling the weapon carried by Star Wars rogue Han Solo in the cinema classic.

The man had been on his way to pose for a community newspaper ahead of the 30th Star Wars movie anniversary when he was surrounded by armed police, forced to the ground and handcuffed.

Police said despite being a harmless replica and a close match to a weapon from a galaxy far, far away, the man would be charged with possessing an unregistered firearm.

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