Star Wars actor Mark Hamill calls for more drones for Ukraine

Star compared Russia to an 'evil empire' from the film series

Mark Hamill arrives for the world premiere of Disney's 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker'. AFP
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Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has called for more drones to help Ukraine fight Russia, which he compared to an “evil empire” from the film series.

Mr Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the films, and is now an ambassador to the United24 project, which collects charitable donations for Ukraine, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been “absolutely heroic”.

Speaking to BBC's Laura Kuenssberg on her politics show on Sunday, Mr Hamill said: "I was really fascinated with this man... because he's been absolutely heroic.

"And the Ukrainian people have been inspirational. He's an amazing man."

Mr Hamill spoke about when the pair met in September, when Mr Zelenskyy referenced the film series.

"He did reference the movies. And it's not hard to understand why.

"Star Wars was always a fairytale for children and fairytales are morality tales of good versus evil, where good is clearly defined, evil is clearly defined.

"It's not hard to extrapolate an evil empire with Russia invading a sovereign nation. So it's not surprising, and that's probably what appealed to him about me.

"We didn't dwell on it obviously — I mean, I was surprised he had the time in his schedule to even talk to me.

"When we spoke for so long I thought, don't you have to get back to work?" he said laughing.

The American actor said he was "honoured" to become an ambassador in the United24 project.

His role includes raising funds to support Ukrainian defenders, the Drone Army, a project set up by the Ukrainian government to procure unmanned drones to assist the war effort.

The drones will be used to monitor the 2,470km front line and provide an effective response to enemy attacks, according to the project's website.

When asked by Kuenssberg whether the platform would be used to supply lethal technology, Hamill answered: "Ukraine needs drones.

"They have some drones but not nearly as many as the Russians."

Russia is using drones from Iran to attack Ukraine on the battlefield, hitting logistics and command and control centres behind Ukrainian lines.

Ukrainian officials said they have been used to attack the southern port city of Odesa almost daily.

“These drones are quite slow, but they also carry a powerful charge, so a hit from them is equivalent from a hit from a missile,” said Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa region military administration.

“Even if it takes several drones in a group to achieve that, they are so much cheaper it doesn’t matter.

“It can have a psychological impact on the population," he said.

“It’s an act of terrorism. They are just trying to find something new in their tactics.”

Updated: October 02, 2022, 3:24 PM