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Stourbridge Star Wars fan refused passport after changing name to Han Solo
Updated 11:39am Wednesday 2nd July 2014 in News
Han Solo, formerly known as Dominic Kimberley, is worried he is travelling abroad illegally with his old passport.
A STOURBRIDGE Stars Wars fan who changed his name by deed poll to Han Solo is struggling to visit a galaxy far, far away - after being refused a passport.
Dominic Kimberley, aged 35, paid just £12 to adopt the moniker of his favourite character from the Star Wars Trilogy back in 2008.
He now has his new name on bank cards and statements but he encountered the dark side of Government officials recently, when he went to renew his current passport.
The accounts manager was sent a letter telling him couldn't get a new passport bearing his intergalactic name because it is based on a fictional character.
And the force definitely wasn't strong with angry Han, who spent hours trying to argue his case to Home Office managers over the phone.
He is now worried he is travelling abroad illegally with his old passport, which uses his original name and fears he could be arrested as a result.
Han said: "A chap I knew changed his surname to annoy his dad because they had an argument and told me about it.
"I didn't realise it was that easy to do so I thought I would have an experiment myself.
"I had booked a holiday to Thailand, so sent my passport off with the deed poll letter and they sent it back saying I couldn't change it because it was a fictional character.
"I rang them and was on the phone for hours going from manager to manager but nobody would sort it out for me."
He continued: "I said to them what about Harry Potter or James Bond but they just said it was a point-blank no. I automatically assumed that they would have to change my passport and it would go through fine but the name change is on a legal document."
A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Passport Office said: “HMPO has a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute and will refuse to recognise a change to a name which is subject to copyright or trademark.”
Han said: "It cost me a few hundred pound because I had to re-book the holiday for a few months later. I went but I'm not sure if I was breaking the law or not by using two names.
"I'm worried I could get banged up abroad in the future and I'm wary about trying to travel again."
He said his mum, Catherine, aged 59, of Wollaston took a while to get used to the bizarre choice of name, adding: "My mum said 'you’ve gone a galaxy too far this time', but she saw the funny side.
"I’ve always been a fan of the films and Han Solo was always my favourite character."
Single Han is adamant that any future Princess Leia would have to become Mrs Solo and he hasn’t ruled out giving his kids Star Wars names either.
He added: "If I had a boy I would definitely call him Lando but I haven't thought of one for a girl yet."