Mark Hamill: Most signed Star Wars memorabilia is fake
Mark Hamill has claimed that up to 90 per cent of 'Star Wars' memorabilia advertised as being signed by the cast is "fake" and he insists he is always happy to verify items which are supposed to carry his signature
'Star Wars' legend Mark Hamill claims up to 90 per cent of signed memorabilia from the franchise is "fake".
The 64-year-old actor - who plays Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker in the sci-fi series - is dismayed at the collecting industry that surrounds the movies and insists much of what is advertised as signed items is bogus.
Speaking to BBC One show 'Rip Off Britain' - presented by Angela Rippon - he said: "There are more fake autographs than real ones it just breaks your heart [to see fans duped]."
When asked how much of the autographed memorabilia is phoney, he answered: "It's in the 50 to 90 percentile".
Hamill has developed a technique so his signed merchandise can be identified as genuine - he personalises each autograph for each fan.
He revealed: "A true fan would love that."
Hamill also is happy to inspect anything claimed to have been signed by him if fans send him photos on social media of the alleged autographed items.
He explained: "Every day it's like homework. You have to sit down and go through 30, 40, 50 of these things, and sometimes they're really close calls. It doesn't bring me any pleasure to disappoint someone and say, that's a fake. On the other hand, [forgeries] are just so pervasive - there are more fakes than there are real ones."
Hamill first portrayed Luke in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy - created by George Lucas.
He has reprised the key role in a galaxy far, far away in Disney and Lucasfilm's new trilogy, although he only made a brief appearance in 'The Force Awakens'.
He will next be seen as the character in 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' alongside the returned Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa).
Hamill is also expected to be in 2019's 'Star Wars: Episode IX' when it is released in 2019.