President Elect Donald Trump has become quite well known for his tweets. Trump uses Twitter to angrily respond to and even insult detractors, and also to reiterate his policies and reach out to the American people. Whether or not such information is best relayed in 140 character snippets is up to debate, but whether you are a fan of Trump’s politics and persona or not, there is no denying his tweet behavior is polarizing.
Actor Mark Hamill is best known for his role as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars series, most recently appearing in Episode VII – The Force Awakens, where he played the Jedi knight for the first time in over thirty years. During that gap, he’s kept busy both onscreen and behind the microphone, becoming nearly as well known for voicing the animated version of Batman’s arch nemesis The Joker in multiple animated iterations.
Hamill’s skill at voicing the iconic villain and Trump’s behavior on Twitter have finally come to a head. Reported by Comicbook, the exchange began with Matt Oswalt (brother of comedian Patton Oswalt), discussing Trump’s now infamous New Years Tweet:
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016
Oswalt’s response was first that it sounded “like something the Joker would say…” which he then followed up with his own “billion dollar idea.”
BILLION DOLLAR IDEA: an App that you can feed every Trump tweet into that plays it back in @HamillHimself Joker voice. You’re welcome.
— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) January 7, 2017
Hamill, who has previously spoken out against Trump, seemed more than a little keen to the idea.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 7, 2017
About seven hours later, Hamill succeeded in his goal and posted the results:
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 8, 2017
Hamill first began voicing the Joker for Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, after guest-voicing as another character in an earlier episode. His work became so popular that he has continued to play the role as recently as last year. As the Joker, Hamill’s voice has been heard in a number of animated DC films, toys, video games, and amusement park rides. He even provided the voice in the pilot episode of the live action show Birds of Prey back in 2002, with actor Roger Stoneburner playing the role physically.
This news is likely to upset those of the opinion that entertainers should keep their politics out of their public persona. That does raise the question of whether there is a point where politics as usual stops, and whether that changes things. If those with a voice see their leader as a not just a political opponent, but a megalomaniacal villain, do they have a moral obligation to try to illustrate that point to the world? It’s a topic that will be argued indefinitely over the next four years (and likely beyond).
Whether or not Hamill will continue translating Trump’s tweets is unknown at this point, but if he wishes to, he certainly has plenty of material to choose from.