Mark Hamill might have attended San Diego Comic-Con this year, and if you did too, you might have met him. For a brief exciting moment on Monday, I thought I did.
The Star Wars actor was active on social media during the convention, teasing fans with clues about several costumes to see if anyone could uncover him. Fitting for an event full of superheroes with stealth identities.
"FUN FACT: I'M HERE RIGHT NOW!!" Hamill wrote on Instagram. "Here are the 4 masks I'll be wearing (1 for each day) so be on HIGH ALERT & please say hello when you see me!"
On Saturday, I spotted someone dressed as "Vader Trump" wearing a blond wig styled in a Trump 'do and holding a golf club with "Make the Death Star great again" printed on the back of his shirt. I loved the costume, so I had to take a photo. On Monday morning, it looked like the guy I snapped a photo with was Luke Skywalker himself after CNET's Bridget Carey led me to a tweet where Hamill seems to confirm Vader Trump was one of his secret costumes. (The actor is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.)
"It's true, all of it," he tweeted, hashtagging his post #OrangeVader and #MyFinalDayAtSDCC2018
A lot of other fans celebrated spending time with Luke Skywalker. Or so they thought.
For around two hours I was over the moon thinking I'd snapped a selfie with the Star Wars star. But Hamill is a prankster, and we fell for it.
The San Diego Union Tribune called him out Monday, confirming that the Darth Trump was cosplayer James Cherry from Redlands, California. Hamill copped to the prank in a tweet, saying, "Actor Mark Hamill says it was all in good fun & simply a joke meant to playfully mind-trick his fans. He claims (without proof) most people enjoyed his massive San Diego Comic Con-Job!
"I read several comments from people saying it wasn't him, from the mole on his right arm to another person stating they saw the actual cosplayer without the orange mask on, and it definitely wasn't Mark Hamill," fan Brendan Bajillioz said. "I think that's when the seed of doubt crept in, so I wasn't too surprised when he announced that it was all a joke. It was still pretty surreal to think I might've been that close to Luke Skywalker without even knowing it."
Undercover celebrities happen here and there around Comic-Con, but when it comes to Hamill, we're going to have to keep wondering whether he was even there at all.
I tweeted my selfie with Vader Trump and tagged Hamill. And while he's "liked" my tweets before, this time, for the first time ever, he replied, taking my Comic-Con experience to another level.
"Just remember Jerry," he replied to me, quoting Seinfeld. "It's not a lie... if you believed it."
At the end of the day, we got pranked by the Joker, and that's all that counts.
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