Mark Hamill announced in an exclusive interview with POLITICO this week that he will be raising money for Ukraine, more specifically for the Ukrainian military, to assist it in maintaining its drone supply. The actor has expressed his stance about Russia’s aggression many times in the past, during interviews and on his personal Twitter account. Hamill is for peace and a ceasefire, as he condemns an all-out war.
Sky-Rocketing Funds Expected by Skywalker
The actor spoke to POLITICO about his campaign in an exclusive interview. The man, who most would identify with the character of Star Wars character Luke Skywalker, told the page that he and some of his colleagues decided to sign a limited number of Star Wars posters. He underlined that these will be accessible for ‘real hardcore collectors’ with disposable income, since the merchandise will most likely be fairly expensive, destined for those who are aiming to collect exclusive and special Star Wars memorabilia.
Hamill said that it has not been finalised yet how the posters will be sold, however, he would like to see a competition or an auction that hundreds and thousands of fans would be able to enter. ‘That’s smart,’ he underlined. The sale of the posters is expected to start next week, close to the anniversary of the beginning of the war on 24 February.
The Return of the Jedi
Hamill emphasised that he has not sold any merchandise that he signed since 2017, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released. He added that it is a process that he generally avoids, and does not sign items regularly. However, he is more than willing to do it to support Ukraine, because he sees their fight against Russia as ‘nothing short of inspirational’.
He added that if he learned one thing from being part of the Star Wars universe, it is the idea of ‘doing the right thing for the good of everyone, rather than being all about self-interest.’ Hamill also underlined that while he is comparing the two worlds in a sense, this comparison should not trivialise the true horrors of what the Ukrainians are facing, adding: ‘One is really a fairy tale for children, originally that’s what Star Wars was. And the reality, the stark reality of what’s going on in Ukraine, is harrowing.’
The funds raised by the campaign will be donated to Ukrainian fundraising platform United24. Hamill has been an ambassador for United’s project ‘Army of Drones’ since last September, after Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally invited him to join the fight against the ‘empire of evil’, as the Ukrainian president labelled Russia, referencing the Galactic Empire in the iconic movies.
Eyes in the Sky
Hamill said he is thrilled that the fundraising project evolved into a world-wide event, underlining that while sometimes he might feel powerless, he feels obligated to do anything he can to help the situation in Ukraine. The project ‘Army of Drones’ consists of drone procurement, training, and maintenance, since these are tools the Ukrainian army utilises to monitor the front lines and gather intelligence that is essential for effective fighting. According to the actor, drones ‘are so vital in this conflict. They are the eyes in the sky. They protect the border, they monitor.’
The project is a joint venture of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, United24 and the Ministry of Digital Transformation. United was set up by President Zelenskyy, and has already raised over 1,8 million Euros. Hamill is not the only celebrity that was named as an ambassador for the platform. Among others, the band Imagine Dragons and Barbra Streisand are also proud representatives. In a video call last year President Zelenskyy told Hamill: ‘The light will win over darkness. I believe in this, our people believe in this’, as he referenced and compared the Star Wars movies to the conflict in Ukraine.