"Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill is joining a real-life resistance effort by raising money to aid Ukraine against Russia.
What Happened: Hamill, who portrayed Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars film franchise, is becoming an ambassador for United24, the global initiative launched by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to collect charitable donations.
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Hamill will participate in “Army of Drones,” a project by United24 to raise money for drones and repair and training related to drones. Ukraine has received 986 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) worth over $50 million to date.
“I know for certain that Ukrainians need drones to protect their land, their freedom and the values of the entire democratic world,” Hamill said. “Right now is the best time for everyone to come together and help Ukraine stand up in this war with the evil empire.”
Other big-name stars attached as ambassadors include Barbra Streisand, Liev Schreiber, soccer player Andriy Shevchenko and the band Imagine Dragons.
Streisand is helping with United24 program Friends of Ukraine that is seeking to raise money for doctors and medical supplies for the country in its fight against Russia.
Zelensky founded United24 four months ago and the foundation has raised more than $180 million from 110 countries, according to Deadline. He also launched Advantage Ukraine, a fundraising effort to help investors engage with the country's business community.
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Why It’s Important: The U.S. government and other countries have pledged support to help Ukraine financially in its effort against Russia.
The latest efforts by Zelensky come as President Vladimir Putin has announced a new annexation plan and 23 civilians were killed by a reported Russian missile.
“In this long and unequal fight, Ukraine needs continuous additional support. That’s why I was honored President Zelensky asked me to become an ambassador for the Army of Drones,” Hamill said.
Zelensky praised Hamill for his support in the ware effort.
“The light will win over darkness. I believe in this, our people believe in this. Thank your for taking on this difficult mission of being the first ambassador to help Ukraine raise funds for the Army of Drones to support our defenders,” Zelensky said.
Prior to a career in politics, Zelensky was an actor and created a production studio. Adding Hamill as an ambassador could bring large attention to the fundraising effort considering Star Wars, owned by The Walt Disney Company DIS, is the highest grossing franchise, according to Box Office Mojo.
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