Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has lent his voice to a Ukrainian air raid app to warn citizens of incoming attacks during the ongoing conflict with Russia. “Attention. Air raid alert. Proceed to the nearest shelter,” says Hamill over Air Alert, an app linked to Ukraine’s air defense system. When the threat has passed, Hamill signs off with “The alert is over. May the Force be with you.”
Invoking his beloved Luke Skywalker character, some of the lines contain recognizable quotes from the Star Wars franchise like “Don’t be careless. Your overconfidence is your weakness.” You can hear a few lines in the following video starting around 56 seconds in:
Hamill’s Hollywood-inspired contributions are available on iOS, Android, and Huawei as an optional English-language setting within the Air Alert app in addition to its Ukrainian-language alerts. The actor has provided lines that notify users of missile attacks, shelling, street fighting, radiation, and chemical threats.
The voiceover was first announced last year alongside a partnership between Air Alert and United24 — a global initiative for collecting charitable donations to support Ukraine. Hamill is an ambassador for United24, which was launched by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in May, 2022.
Hamill has previously raised funds for Ukrainian to buy drones by raffling signed Star Wars merch
Hamil has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia, having previously raffled autographed Star Wars posters to raise funds for Ukrainian forces to buy reconnaissance drones. “Here I sit in the comfort of my own home when in Ukraine there are power outages and food shortages and people are really suffering,” he said. “It motivates me to do as much as I can.”
Hamill also sees similarities between the Ukrainian struggle and the Rebel Alliance’s fight against the totalitarian Galactic Empire in the Star Wars franchise. “A fairy tale about good versus evil is resonant with what’s going on in Ukraine,” Hamill said in an interview with The Associated Press. “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.”
The crossover of sci-fi fandom might feel like it's trivializing the real-world conflict, but some Ukrainian residents have found solace — or perhaps the Force! — in Hamill’s Star Wars-influenced voiceover. “It’s a very cool phrase for this situation,” said Olena Yeremina, a business manager in Kyiv, in an interview with The Associated Press. “I wouldn’t say that I feel like a Ukrainian Jedi, but sometimes this phrase reminds me to straighten my shoulders and keep working.”