‘Heroic’ Zelensky compared Russia to Star Wars’ evil Empire, says Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill has said President Volodymyr Zelensky has been “absolutely heroic” during the Russian invasion while revealing that the Ukrainian leader compared Russia to the “evil Empire” in Star Wars.

The 71-year-old Star Wars actor is an ambassador to the United24 project, which donates drones to the Ukrainian army.

Speaking to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on her Sunday morning politics show, Hamill paid tribute to Mr Zelensky, saying: “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.”

He said that Mr Zelensky had referenced the Star Wars films when the pair met in September, adding: “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.”

Hamill added with a chuckle: “When we spoke for so long I thought, don’t you have to get back to work?”

The American actor revealed his involvement in the United24 project last month, saying he was “honoured” to be asked.

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, the project’s website said.

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.”