For nearly 50 years, actor Mark Hamill has been fighting fictional battles. He first came to our attention as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), and he subsequently returned for another five movies in the Star Wars universe. Once he finished his career in a galaxy far, far away, Hamill began a new career as a voice actor. His claim to fame was as the Joker in dozens of Batman animated movies and television shows.
But now, Hamill has lent his voice to something much more important. For more than a year now, Hamill has worked with a non-profit, United 24, to help raise money for the war in Ukraine. He has helped the Ukrainians to purchase reconnaissance drones to fend off the Russian invasion. Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the people of Ukraine have been battered from above by Russian drones and missiles. Now, the former Jedi Master is coming to help out.
Hamill’s voice will now be heard on the Ukrainian “Air Alert” app, which connects directly to the Ukrainian Air Defense system and will warn the people of incoming missile or drone strikes. Any time there is a warming, Hamill will tell the people of Ukraine, “Attention. Air raid alert. Proceed to the nearest shelter.”
That will immediately be followed by a second, more Jedi-like message, telling them, “Don’t be careless. Your overconfidence is your weakness.” Once the strike threat is over, Hamill returns to tell the people of Ukraine, “the air raid is over. May the Force be with you.”
Hamill told the Associated Press:
A fairy tale about good versus evil is resonant with what´s going on in Ukraine. The Ukrainian people rallying to the cause and responding so heroically. It´s impossible not to be inspired by how they´ve weathered this storm. Here I sit in the comfort of my own home when in Ukraine there are power outages and food shortages and people are really suffering. It motivates me to do as much as I can.
Earlier this week, Hamill held a virtual meeting with members of the Ukrainian Air Defense to discuss their needs and how he can help provide them with more assistance. In the past, Hamill has auctioned off dozens of signed posters and memorabilia from Star Wars to help the Ukranian people.
In some cities nationwide, Hamill’s warnings can be heard dozens of times throughout the day. Some are false alarms, while others are not. The Air Alert app has been downloaded 14 million times.
Hamill also joined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last for a fundraiser to help the people of Ukraine and purchase drones for the Army. The Star Wars actor met with Zelensky from his home in Los Angeles to help promote United 24. So far, United 24 has raised more than $180 million for the Ukrainian armed forces.
We will continue to keep you updated on this story at Disney Fanatic.