The internet keeps claiming that Mark Hamill is dead — and the very much alive Star Wars legend thinks it’s hilarious.
On Friday, a fake Twitter account designed to look like the Huffington Post tweeted out the “breaking” news that Hamill, 65, had passed away, prompting the Luke Skywalker actor to tweet a tongue-in-cheek response.
“MUCH OF NATION MOURNS-RIP @HamillHimself,” Hamill wrote.
He then called himself “a wonderful-underrated & beloved icon-Truly a legend in his own mind,” along with the hashtags #SoGladIGotToMeetHim and #KindaSad.
Hamill’s self-written obituary was a huge hit with his Twitter followers.
“Strike @HamillHimself down and he will become more sarcastic than you can ever imagine,” tweeted one fan.
“For a dead guy, your tweeting skills are excellent,” tweeted another.
Meanwhile, some fans admitted that they had at first believed the fake news of Mark Hamill’s death was true, particularly after the shock of Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in December.
“It’s been such a terrible year I feared it was true,” wrote one fan.
According to the Huffington Post, the fake Twitter account that falsely reported Hamill’s death has been suspended and the original tweet has been deleted. However, Hamill took a screenshot of the post reporting his demise, which he included with his response.
This is not the first time the internet has claimed that Mark Hamill was dead. In February, the actor was the victim of another online death hoax.
Hamill reacted to that premature news of his death with humor as well, tweeting “Don’t rush me, already!”
The revitalized Star Wars franchise has kept Mark Hamill very busy in recent years. He returned to the the iconic film series after 30 years in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and has completed filming for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is due to hit theaters on December 15. He will also reportedly appear in Star Wars: Episode IX, which is slated for release in 2019.
As Digiday explains, celebrity death hoaxes are designed to drive internet traffic to websites with monetized ads. For some reason, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth are frequent targets of the hoaxes. The ploy is appealing because the news of a beloved celebrity’s death plays on people’s emotions, making it more likely they will share the story with friends and help it go viral.
In addition to Mark Hamill, other celebrities who have been falsely reported dead in 2017 include Imelda Marcos, Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Ronda Rousey and even April the Giraffe’s baby calf.
Did you fall victim to the Mark Hamill death hoax? Have you momentarily believed other celebrity death hoaxes? Tell us in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]