Original Luke Skywalker actor joins Ukraine’s Army of Drones effort

Ukraine army drones

Ukraine’s campaign to assemble an Army of Drones to push invading Russian forces out of the country staged a PR coup Thursday by welcoming its new ambassador Mark Hamill, the actor who played the consummate defender of good against evil Star Wars hero, Luke Skywalker.

Ukraine launched the Army of Drones campaign over the summer in a push to raise money for new UAV purchases, or receive donated craft for use in the country’s defense against Russia. Like much of the nation’s surprisingly effective and remarkably media-savvy efforts condemning Kremlin aggression, the recruitment of Hamill as ambassador for the Ukraine24 organization orchestrating the fundraising drive was immediately seized to highlight the stark good-versus-evil dynamic in the war.

“Mark, you have become the first ambassador to help Ukraine raise funds to support its defenders,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video linkup with Hamill welcoming him to the Army of Drones campaign. “For Ukrainians, this means a lot. As in Star Wars, good will triumph over evil and light will overcome darkness. With you in the team, there’s no other way around it.”

Read moreUkraine’s Army of Drones donation appeal features slick UAV video

Hamill is not the only celebrity to voice support for the Ukraine24 fundraising operation, but he is the first to become directed affiliated with the Army of Drones objective to supplement the nation’s deployment of military-grade UAVs with consumer craft repurposed for military missions.

Since it was launched in July, the campaign has raised $51.5 million and acquired 986 UAVs. Those joined the patchwork fleet of consumer drones that since the start of the war have been donated by leisure pilots in Ukraine, or sent in by the hundreds from foreign supporters. Those have effectively deployed for reconnaissance, intelligence, defensive, and even astonishingly accurate offensive operations.

ReadIsrael reportedly permitting anti-UAV system transfer to Ukraine 

In becoming a part of Ukraine’s Army of Drones push, Hamill inevitably evoked universal Star War themes.

“In this long and unequal fight, Ukraine needs continuous additional support,” Hamill said. “That’s why I was honored President Zelenskyy asked me to become an ambassador for the Army of Drones. “I know for certain that Ukrainians need drones to protect their land, their freedom, and the values of the entire democratic world. Right now is the best time for everyone to come together and help Ukraine stand up in this war with the evil empire.”

Remarkably, both men managed to celebrate the linkup without references to the force being with them – in contrast to this post.

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