American actor Mark Hamill is to start selling signed posters to raise cash for maintaining the Ukrainian army’s drone supply.
“We decided to sign Star Wars posters, a limited amount,” Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker in the iconic movies, told POLITICO in an exclusive interview. “For real hardcore collectors — especially those that have disposable income — you can get way more money … than you would imagine.”
Exactly how the posters will be put up for sale is yet to be finalized, but the idea of “having hundreds and thousands of people enter [a competition or auction], that’s smart,” Hamill said.
The poster sale is expected to start in the coming days and comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine on February 24.
Hamill revealed he hasn’t sold autographed items since 2017, when “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” came out. “It’s just not something I do,” he said, adding that he is happy to do it to support Ukraine, whose ongoing fight against Russia is “nothing short of inspirational.”
Hamill said that something he learned from the world(s) of Star Wars is doing the “right thing for the good of everyone, rather than being all about self-interest,” adding that comparing the two worlds shouldn’t trivialize “the true horrors of what Ukrainians face.”
“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 money raised from the sale of the posters will go to the Ukrainian fundraising platform United24. Hamill became an ambassador for the platform’s “Army of Drones” project in September after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally asked him to join the fight against “the empire of evil,” as he labeled Russia — a reference to the Galactic Empire, the brutal dictatorship led by evil Palpatine in the Star Wars saga.
The “Army of Drones” involves drone procurement, maintenance and training, as the drones are used to monitor the frontline, according to the project’s website. “Drones are so vital in this conflict. They are the eyes in the sky. They protect the border, they monitor,” Hamill said.
The project is a joint venture between the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Digital Transformation and United24. The latter was set up by Zelenskyy and has so far raised more than €252 million.
Other celebrities — including the band Imagine Dragons and the singer and actress Barbra Streisand — have also been named ambassadors for the platform.
“The light will win over darkness. I believe in this, our people believe in this,” Zelenskyy told Hamill during a video call last year, thanking him for supporting the Ukrainian people.