Over the years, millions of foreign-born immigrants have become American citizens. Until they earn their citizenship papers, they are often referred to as "aliens." None are more alien than one person who will become a naturalized American on Monday in a ceremony in Arlington, Texas.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a Wookiee named Chewbacca growled and howled his way through "Star Wars" movies. The part of Chewbacca was played by British-born Peter Mayhew. Mayhew, 60, played the fur-covered warrior Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy of the 1970s and 1980s, and the latest movie, "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."
On Monday, Mayhew will take the oath to become an American citizen, along with 440 other people from 77 countries. "I got married to a Texan lady. That more or less decided it," said Mayhew, who has been married to his wife, Angelique, for six years.
In most cases, an immigrant must be a legal permanent resident for five years before becoming a citizen. The wait is three years if the person marries a U.S. citizen. He also must pass history, English, and civics exams.
When he takes his oath to become an American, Mayhew said he'll recite what he can remember and "it will be a Chewie growl for the other parts."
Mayhew said he was being driven by his wife to buy a suit for the occasion. It will be the conventional type -- not the brown, furry sort.
Too bad. I have this mental image of Chewbacca in the crowd taking the oath of citizenship.