Actor Mark Hamill - best known for voicing The Joker and playing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films - has trolled his fans and President Donald J. Trump with a bit of "fake news" and a scheme worthy of The Clown Prince of Crime. After dropping hints on his social media that he would be attending San Diego Comic-Con 2018 in a series of disguises, Hamill replied in the affirmative when fans asked if he was one popular cosplayer - a man dressed in an orange-painted Darth Vader mask and Donald Trump wig, armed with a lightsaber golf club. It has now been revealed that Hamill was not the mysterious Orange Vader and he just went along with the assumption so he could enjoy the convention in peace.
Hamill is far from the first celebrity to attend Comic-Con incognito. Last year, Black Panther star Lupita Nyong'o masqueraded as the Pink Power Ranger to enjoy the show in secret. Henry Cavill once hid his famous face behind a Guy Fawkes mask to walk the floor undisturbed. Mythbusters host Adam Savage - an avid cosplayer - has made a tradition of attending the show in his increasingly intricate builds.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported upon the trick, after originally reporting that Hamill was the masked man. A correction was issued after Hamill shared their report in a Tweet, which can be viewed below, that was written in a Trumpian style. The cosplayer has since then been identified as James Cherry of Redlands, California, who calls his character "Darth Trump."
In fairness to the flummoxed fans, their guesses that Hamill might have disguised himself in a Star Wars themed costume that also made fun of Trump had a firm foundation. Hamill is a notoriously outspoken critic of the U.S. president and frequently comments on Trump's policies in his social media. Hamill has also taken to reading Trump's tweets using his Joker voice at personal appearances, to drive home the point of how utterly insane and villainous he believes Trump sounds.
Politics aside, it is worth noting that unlike the Joker, Hamill had no malicious intent and hopes his fans see the humor in the prank. If nothing else, he probably got a few laughs when he finally revealed his real costume for the final day of Comic-Con - a screen-accurate set of First Order Stormtrooper armor from the latest series of Star Wars movies. Hamill was not, it should be noted, "too short to be a Stormtrooper."