ROYAL Mail has announced it will publish a set of 18 Special Stamps to celebrate the Star Wars series of films and mark the release of the forthcoming episode, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The stamps, illustrated by British artist Malcolm Tween, depict nine iconic characters from the first six films and three from the forthcoming film: Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren.
Incorporated onto each stamp is a secondary scene or character including new droid BB-8, illustrated by Tween especially for the stamps.
In addition, the ‘1ST’ font used in the ‘1ST’ value of the stamps will replicate that of the iconic typeface used for the films.
Also being issued on the 20th October will be a Miniature Sheet of six stamps featuring intricately detailed illustrations of six iconic Star Wars vehicles, brought together against a backdrop of the dreaded Death Star.
The Star Wars series began in 1977. So far, there have been two trilogies of movies that have included major British involvement at UK studios. 17 December 2015 will see the UK theatrical release of the latest instalment in the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has been filmed at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, using British expertise in cast and crew. The two further episodes in this trilogy will also be filmed in the UK.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will reunite the three principal actors from the original trilogy as well as the robots R2-D2 and C-3PO. New characters Rey and Finn will be played by British actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega respectively, with additional British cast members including Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis.
Disney’s decision to base production in the UK is a major contributor to the British film industry. Not only is it providing employment and exposure for British acting talent, it also employs the British technical expertise in set design, cinematography, and costume design at Pinewood Studios. In the field of digital special effects, London is already a world centre, and the effects for the new Star Wars film have been created by the London office of Industrial Light & Magic (Lucasfilm’s special effects company).
The UK is the third largest market in the world for the Star Wars films, and the new stamps will reflect the passion of the British public for the movies, and celebrate the major British contribution to the film series.
Fans can pre-order the stamps and view the product range at www.royalmail.com/starwars
The stamps will be on sale from 20 October 2015 at www.royalmail.com/starwars and from 8,000 Post Office branches across the UK, and by calling Royal Mail Tallents House on 03457 641 641
DARTH VADER (played by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones)
Darth Vader was once a Jedi Knight but was seduced to the dark side of the Force and became a Sith Lord. Vader served the Emperor for many years until, just moments before his death, he realised the terrible tragedy of his life.
YODA (voiced by Frank Oz)
Small in size but supremely powerful in the Force, Jedi Master Yoda trained many Jedi Knights, including Luke Skywalker. In addition, he served as a member of the Jedi Council, using his vast wisdom to fight the Empire.
OBI-WAN KENOBI (played by Alec Guinness)
A Jedi Master of great skill and bravery, Obi-Wan Kenobi trained Anakin Skywalker and was one of the few to escape Anakin’s purge of the Jedi Order. He initiated Luke Skywalker into the ways of the Force.
The white-armoured soldiers and shock troops of the Empire, stormtroopers were originally clones of the legendary warrior named Jango Fett. Non-clone recruits swelled their numbers during the days of the Empire.
HAN SOLO (played by Harrison Ford)
A smuggler by trade, Han Solo lived on his wits until he met Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa and was persuaded to join the Rebel Alliance, taking part in some of its finest battles against the Empire.
PRINCESS LEIA (played by Carrie Fisher)
Adopted as a baby, Princess Leia became a senator for Alderaan and leader of the Rebel Alliance. She was fiercely devoted to the Rebel cause, and her resolve became even stronger when the Empire destroyed her home planet.
THE EMPEROR (played by Ian McDiarmid)
At first, Palpatine appeared to be a kindly politician, but his secret identity as a deadly Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, was finally revealed when he took control of the galaxy and began to rule it as the Emperor.
LUKE SKYWALKER (played by Mark Hamill)
The son of Anakin Skywalker, Luke was hidden from his father on Tatooine until he met Obi-Wan Kenobi and learned the ways of the Jedi, joining the Rebellion and playing a key part in the fight against the Empire.
A genetic clone of his father, Jango Fett, and one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy, the legendary Boba Fett worked for many paymasters, including the Empire and various clients in the criminal underworld.
The three new characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens are:
REY (played by Daisy Ridley)
Three decades after the Battle of Endor, Rey makes a living by scavenging on the desert planet Jakku. However, she soon finds herself catapulted into the heart of a new crisis in the galaxy.
FINN (played by John Boyega)
Finn was a stormtrooper in the forces of the First Order until he got stranded on the planet Jakku. There, an unlikely alliance with local scavenger Rey starts a chain of events that will affect the fate of the entire galaxy.
KYLO REN (played by Adam Driver)
As the First Order emerges from the remnants of the defeated Empire, Kylo Ren becomes a new symbol of terror, with his dark hood and cloak and his mastery of a new kind of lightsaber with three red blades.
MINATURE SHEET STAMPS
RESISTANCE X-WING STARFIGHTERS
The modern incarnation of a classic design, the Incom T-70 X-wing fighter is the signature combat craft of the Resistance forces in their fight against the First Order.
An extensively-modified Corellian light freighter, the Millennium Falcon is a legend in smuggler circles and is coveted by many for being the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.
Carried aboard Imperial Star Destroyers and battle stations, TIE fighters are single-pilot vehicles perfect for fast-paced dogfights with Rebel X-wings and other starfighters.
This versatile and nimble Incom T-65 X-wing starfighter was used by the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the Empire. It was co-piloted by an astromech droid and armed with laser cannons and proton torpedo launchers, balancing speed with firepower.
FIRST ORDER SPECIAL FORCES TIE FIGHTERS
The elite of the First Order starfighter pilots have access to specialised craft, such as these two-seater TIE fighters outfitted with enhanced weapons and sensor systems.
The massive All Terrain Armored Transport, or AT-AT walker, is an armour-plated, four-legged transport and combat vehicle used by the Imperial ground forces.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in UK cinemas on 17 December 2015.