Mark Hamill has teamed up with California lawyer Ling Ling Chang to find a way to stop the sale of fake autographed movie paraphernalia. The Los Angeles Times reports that Hamill has taken to authenticating his autograph on Twitter and is fed up with people being swindled into buying fake autographs.
It all started last fall when fans who had started purchasing merchandise for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie and wanted Mark Hamill to verify that the signatures on the posters and other movie memorabilia were his. Hamill knew the signatures were fake because he hadn't yet signed any of the new merchandise. He even joked about signing posters at the London premiere.
"As a joke at the London premiere, I said I'd only initial posters to reflect my contributions to the movie. And even then, I only did like three of those."Mark Hamill has seen some older, authentic autographs of his.
@HamillHimself a couple of my favorites! are they real? pic.twitter.com/2bHPCp5TQ7Unfortunately, he has also seen enough fakes that he has decided to simply 'Like' a post if the autographs are authentic.
— jay♡sarah (@hqnsols) December 28, 2015
Both REAL. Maybe I'll just "like" the real ones rather than boring everyone w/ endless tweets over authenticity, OK? https://t.co/lstgojuJVqThese ones weren't authentic.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 28, 2015
@HamillHimself I saw this signed poster at a local auction w the whole cast (so I'm suspicious). Is that yours? pic.twitter.com/utYU0CnI9s
— Tyler Davis (@tylerjamesdavis) December 27, 2015
In a word- NO. I'm so sorry there's so many fans spending their hard-earned money for fraudulent signatures. #FAKE https://t.co/717Bv02ASAChang has said that Mark Hamill is really passionate about ensuring fans aren't duped into buying fake signatures.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 27, 2015
"I got on the phone with him and it was very touching to see how passionate he was. What he said to me is that his fans are like family and that he did not want to see kids being victimized as he's seen in the past. It's such an honor to have him on board with us."Sports fans already have protection when it comes to signed memorabilia. Each is required to come with a certificate of authenticity and Hamill believes the same should apply to movie memorabilia.
"The public is being swindled on a daily basis and the numbers are huge. I just can't keep quiet when I see people I love being hurt. The fact is, you're stalked by these dealers that have shopping carts with 50 posters and stacks of photographs."Mark Hamill is an honest and trustworthy guy, enough so that many years ago, George Lucas confided in him his plans for the Star Wars prequels. Cinema Blend reports on a 1980 interview with Hamill and Harrison Ford, in which Hamill reveals what George Lucas told him about the prequels.
Of course, Lucas didn't reveal too many details, but enough that Mark Hamill could talk about what the basic storyline was about. Check out the interview, which was from 1980.
Fast forward to 1984, and Digital Trends reports that Mark Hamill did the introduction to the first television airing of Star Wars, which was a big deal back then. Just seeing the enthusiasm fans had for the original 1977 movie is incredible.
Mark Hamill will hopefully have a bigger part to play in the next Star Wars movie to come, which isn't due out until May of 2017. Until then, he will be busy working to ensure the protection of fans around the U.S. who are spending their hard-earned money to purchase authentic signed movie memorabilia. Thanks for looking out for your fans, Mark Hamill!
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]