Society

Star Wars Superfan Denied UK Passport Because She Changed Her Middle Name to Skywalker

| by Lina Batarags

One Star Wars fan’s extreme love for the movie franchise has cost her a holiday to Amsterdam.

Laura Matthews, a home claims adviser, added the name “Skywalker” to her middle name by deed poll in 2008. Matthews has said the decision was mainly “for a laugh” after she and her friends had been joking about her love of the movies’ lead character, Luke Skywalker.

Back in May, when Matthews was planning her trip to Amsterdam on July 16, she sent out for a new passport.

Although she placed numerous calls to follow up on the application, it wasn’t until this week – eight weeks after submitting the application – that she was told her application had been refused.

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Passport officials told Matthews, 29, that her new signature, “L. Skywalker”, infringed on a trademark.

Matthews said that the refusal is “absolutely ridiculous”, and noted that she has “the same signature on my driving license, bank cards and everything else.”

“How can everybody else be happy with that signature, apart from the passport office?” Matthews added.

Matthews, who said she never realized a change of middle name would cause such a fuss, has been told that she will have to reapply for a new passport with her old signature.

“I just wish they had told me all this sooner so I didn’t have to miss out on my holiday,” said Matthews, adding that the “whole application process has been an utter shambles from start to finish.”

Matthews also noted that she’ll now have a passport with one signature, and a driver’s license with a different signature.

A Home Office spokesman said that the office “will not recognize a change to a name which is subject to copyright or trademark.”

“We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute,” the spokesman added.

Sources: Daily Mail Online, CNET

Photo Sources: Daily Mail Online