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In time for May the Fourth, Mark Hamill of 'Star Wars' stopped by the White House

Actor Mark Hamill, wearing a pair of aviator shades he said he got from President Biden, makes a surprise appearance in the White House daily press briefing on May 3.
Kevin Dietsch
/
Getty Images
Actor Mark Hamill, wearing a pair of aviator shades he said he got from President Biden, makes a surprise appearance in the White House daily press briefing on May 3.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill made a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing on Friday, telling reporters he had just come from the Oval Office, though the purpose of his visit was unclear.

"How many of you had 'Mark Hamill will lead the press briefing' on your bingo cards?" Hamill asked reporters, before taking off a pair of Biden's trademark aviator glasses — a gift, he said, from the president.

Hamill is best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie franchise. But he has also become known for his social media posts praising Biden and panning former President Donald Trump.

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Hamill, who campaigned for Biden in 2020, rattled off some of his legislative victories to reporters. Asked about their Oval Office meeting, Hamill said the president told him to call him Joe.

"And I said, 'Can I call you Joe-Obi-Wan Kenobi?' and he liked that," Hamill said.

Pressed about the reason for the actor's visit, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Hamill as "very much invested in the direction of this country."

"The president meets with a lot of people," she said. "It's Friday: a little bit of Star Wars fun."

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Franco Ordoñez
Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.