Actor Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the iconic Star Wars sci-fi film series, has revealed he sent over 500 drones to Ukraine via the country’s United24 fundraising platform in the last month alone. In a Thursday interview on Bloomberg Radio, the actor insisted Ukraine “needed” the weapons.
“Very simply: Ukraine needs drones. They define war outcomes, they protect their land, their people, they monitor the border, they’re eyes in the sky,” Hamill told host Joe Mathieu, adding that the fundraising platform sent him multiple updates every week on their progress obtaining the unmanned vehicles.
Hamill was named an ambassador for United24’s Army of Drones project last month. The project is one of several drone fundraising initiatives Ukrainians have established to beef up their aerial arsenal. Another, launched earlier this month, crowdfunded $9.6 million in just 24 hours to purchase kamikaze drones. Meanwhile, the US has pledged over $27 billion in military aid alone to Ukraine since the start of 2022.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky appears to be a Star Wars fan, referencing the film during an appeal for technology investments in June in which he appeared via hologram, sporting a Star Wars-themed variation on his usual olive green t-shirt.
Hamill is far from the only Hollywood actor to lend their celebrity to the Ukrainian cause. From Benedict Cumberbatch promising to house refugees to Sean Penn meeting with Zelensky and publicly pondering “taking up arms against Russia,” screen stars seem to have an affinity for the actor-turned-politician in Kiev.