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Mark Hamill Explains Why Star Wars Came Up in Conversation with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Mark Hamill, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Mark Hamill, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Frazer Harrison/Getty; SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty

Mark Hamill says he and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did talk about Star Wars during a recent conversation, but it was not about the entertainment value of the films, but rather the morality of the story.

Speaking with BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the iconic actor, 71, said the films created by George Lucas have a clear theme of good versus evil, which, in both men's opinion, mirrored the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Hamill was recently made an ambassador for the UNITED24 fundraising platform, which supports the Army of Drones project to benefit Ukraine. On Thursday, Hamill was introduced to Zelenskyy on a video call, during which the president expressed gratitude for Hamill's support (mostly via social media) since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

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"Mark, you have become the first ambassador to help Ukraine raise funds to support its defenders," Zelenskyy said, as reported by CNN. "For Ukrainians, this means a lot. As in Star Wars, good will triumph over evil and light will overcome darkness. With you on the team, there's no other way around it."

Hamill told the BBC those words held a lot of meaning, and he understood why it was part of their chat.

"He did reference the movies, and it is not hard to understand why," Hamill told Kuenssberg. "Star Wars was always a fairy tale for children, and fairy tales are morality tales, good versus evil — where good is clearly defined and evil is clearly defined. And it is not hard to extrapolate the evil Empire with Russia invading a sovereign nation."

In the films, Hamill played Luke Skywalker, who along with the Rebel Alliance, was able to defeat (at least in the original trilogy) the evil Galactic Empire, which was headed by Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).

Hamill said that to this day, he remains shocked that Star Wars became such a juggernaut in Hollywood, let alone the "global appeal," resulting in the Disney franchise going stronger than ever. "But it is a chance to use it for good, and I feel a great responsibility to try and do everything I can to further the Ukrainian cause," he noted.

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On a less serious, but delightful note, Hamill over the weekend also shared (for the legend's birthday) an anecdote about the time he met Groucho Marx, who, naturally, landed one zinger after another.

Hamill began his story on Twitter: "I met him when I was 10 yrs-old. Me: 'Can I have your autograph?' Groucho: 'You don't have my autograph? Well, that's 1 strike against you. What's your name? You do have a name, don't you? Oh, so no autograph & no name? That's 2 strikes, 1 more strike & you're outta the ballgame.'"

Hamill continued, "Me: 'Ummm… Mark Hamill.' Groucho: 'Mark Camel, eh? Well I don't see any hump. You do have a hump, don't you? Well, don't worry, you'll have one by the time you're my age.' For Groucho: 🎂 Also, 🙏❤️👍 for a lifetime of 😆😂🤣!!!"

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Hamill is currently involved with the production of The Fall of the House of Usher, an upcoming horror drama miniseries set to premiere on Netflix.

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.