I’m Zelensky’s ‘Good Soldier’ ​​- Politico

“Attention. End of wind warning. May the force be with you.”

That voice reading that message, listening in English Luke Skywalker’s (well, actor Mark Hamill) version of an app signaling the end of Russian airstrikes on Ukraine.

The app received a Star Wars-themed update last year, one of several steps Hamill has taken to support Ukraine in its fight against Vladimir Putin’s “evil empire.”

In an exclusive interview with POLITICO, Hamill said his position as an ambassador for fundraising platform United24’s “Army of Drones” project is the most important role he’s ever played.

“I’m an actor, I work with illusion and imagination,” he says from his home in Malibu, California. “I’m like a modern court jester.” But the role of helping Ukraine “is much more meaningful than what I’m used to. And I’m happy to do it.”

Moreover, Hamill said that he is not just an ambassador but a “good soldier” and will do whatever Volodymyr Zelensky (or his fundraising team) asks him to do. “I follow orders,” Hamill said.

Politico revealed last week that Hamill is selling signed posters to raise cash to maintain drone supplies for the Ukrainian military. It really is Return of the Jedi — Hamill revealed that 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. The posters are expected to arrive in Kiev and go on sale any day now.

The “Army of Drones” project, for which Hamill is an ambassador, includes drone procurement and maintenance as well as pilot training, with drones used for front-line surveillance.

It is a joint venture between the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the fundraising platform United24, which was founded by Zelenskyy and is still Raised Over €252 million.

“Drones are very important in this conflict. They are the eyes of the sky. They protect the border, they monitor,” Hamill said, adding that Russia uses drones to attack civilians while Ukraine uses drones to gather information.

The actor said he was “honored” that Zelensky personally asked him to come on board. “I’m not used to interacting with world leaders,” he said.

But he is used to taking political positions.

Hamill also refers to himself as a “lifelong democrat”. vocal In support of US Democrats on Twitter and Criticized Former President Donald Trump.

“Every Democrat that asked me to help with their campaign, Zoom and presence… I said yes to all of them,” Hamill said, before adding proudly that he once received a letter from President Joe Biden, though: “I follow him on Twitter. , but he doesn’t follow me.

But Hamill’s political focus right now is on Ukraine, and he said he feels “compelled” to do whatever Zelensky’s fundraising team asks him to do, “however small.”

Zelensky thanked Hamill in a virtual meeting, where the president said: “Light will triumph over darkness. I believe it, our people believe it.”