Star Wars star Mark Hamill lends voice to Ukrainian air raid app

Star Wars star Mark Hamill lends voice to Ukrainian air raid app

Mark Hamill, the actor who famously portrayed Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, has lent his voice to Ukraine's Air Alert app, to warn of incoming Russian missiles. 

"When there is an air raid alert, proceed to the nearest shelter," Hamill's voice warns.

 "Don't be careless. Your overconfidence is your weakness".

When the danger passes, Hamill announces via the app that "the air alert is over”, before signing off with the iconic, and uplifting: "May the Force be with you".

The Air Alert app was co-developed by Ukrainian security manufacturer Ajax Systems, with more than 14 million people already downloading it. It’s also linked to the country’s air defence system.

Hamill explained he decided to lend his voice to the app after admiring the Ukrainian resistance to Russia's invasion last year, which he said evoked comparisons with Star Wars.

"A fairy tale about good versus evil is resonant with what's going on in Ukraine," Hamill told The Associated Press (AP). "The Ukrainian people rallying to the cause and responding so heroically... It's impossible not to be inspired by how they've weathered this storm."

Hamill is also raising funds to buy reconnaissance drones for Ukrainian forces, partly by selling signed Star Wars posters. 

"For Star Wars fans, it sounds really fantastic," English-language app user Hrytsenko told AP.

"It's kind of a Ukrainian mentality to find some humour even in the bad situation or to try to be positive."