Royal Mail will issue a set of 12 counter sheet stamps and a six-stamp miniature sheet on October 20 to celebrate the upcoming release of the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Printed in se-tenant strips of six, the gummed sheet stamps will depict nine classic characters from the earlier films in the series, along with three new characters from the forthcoming instalment, which is due to open in UK cinemas on December 17.

Illustrated by British artist Malcolm Tween, each stamp will also feature a secondary character or scene created specially for the issue.

The self-adhesive miniature sheet, comprising stamps in varying formats, will feature vehicles and spaceships from the series.

All the stamps are 1st class values, and the style of the ‘1st’ inscription on each of them replicates the typeface used for the film titles. The miniature sheet border also carries the Star Wars logo.

Royal Mail says the stamps celebrate the British expertise behind the Star Wars films, as every one was made with a partly British cast and crew, employing British set design, costume design and cinematography. The new film was predominantly shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, with special effects created by Industrial Light & Magic in London.

However, this is not a British franchise. The six existing movies — comprising the original trilogy of 1977, 1980 and 1983, and the ‘prequel’ trilogy of 1999, 2002 and 2005 — were made by an American company, Lucasfilm, which has since been purchased by another American company, Disney.

This is the biggest regular set of stamps ever issued by Great Britain, replacing the 16-stamp Doctor Who set of 2013.

The sheet stamps were designed by Interabang and the miniature sheet by GBH. The whole issue was printed in litho by ISP.

1st class DARTH VADER

Played by the British actor David Prowse but voiced by the American James Earl Jones
, Darth Vader is the name adopted by the Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker after he was seduced to the dark side and became a Sith Lord. He is pictured in combat with Luke Skywalker.

1st class YODA

An animated character voiced by the British-American
 Frank Oz, Yoda trained many Jedi knights and uses his vast wisdom to fight the Empire. He is pictured advising Luke Skywalker.

1st class OBI-WAN KENOBI

Played by the late British actor Alec Guinness, Obi-Wan Kenobi was the Jedi master who initiated Luke Skywalker into the ways of the Force. He is pictured fighting Darth Vader.

1st class STORMTROOPER 


Played by various actors, the white-armoured stormtroopers of the Empire are clones of the legendary warrior Jango Fett. They are pictured following Darth Vader.

1st class HAN SOLO

Played by the American actor Harrison Ford, Han Solo is a smuggler who was persuaded to join the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. He is pictured with his co-pilot Chewbacca.

1st class REY

Played by the British actress Daisy Ridley, Rey is one of the new characters in The Force Awakens. She is pictured with the robot BB8.

1st class PRINCESS LEIA

Played by the American actress Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia becaomes a leader of the Rebel Alliance after the Empire destroys her home planet. She is pictured with the droids R2D2 and C-3PO.

1st class THE EMPEROR

Played by the British actor Ian McDiarmid, the Emperor Palpatine appears to be a benign politician until his secret identity as a Sith Lord is revealed and he takes control of the galaxy. He is pictured with Anakin Skywalker.

1st class LUKE SKYWALKER

Played by the American actor Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker is the son Anakin Skywalker didn’t know he had, who becomes a Jedi knight. He is pictured with his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi.

1st class BOBA FETT 


Played by various actors, Boba Fett is a genetic clone of his father, Jango Fett, and one of the most feared bounty-hunters in the galaxy. He is pictured with his fellow bounty-hunters Dengar, IG-88 and Bossk.

1st class FINN

Played by the British actor John Boyega, Finn is another of the new characters. He is pictured with Rey.

1st class KYLO REN

Played by the American actor Adam Driver, Kylo Ren is a new symbol of terror in The Force Awakens. He is pictured with Captain Phasma and stormtroopers.

 

MINATURE SHEET 



1st class X-WING STARFIGHTER

The nimble Incom T-65 X-Wing starfighter is used by the Rebel Alliance in its fight against the Empire.

1st class X-WING STARFIGHTERS

The Incom T-70 X-Wing fighter is the key combat craft of the Resistance forces in their fight against the First Order.

1st class TIE FIGHTERS


Carried aboard Imperial star destroyers and battle stations, single-seater TIE fighters are ideal for fast-paced dogfights.

1st class TIE FIGHTERS


Only the elite of the First Order pilots have access to these two-seater TIE fighters.

1st class AT-AT WALKERS 


All Terrain Armored Transport walkers are four-legged transport and combat vehicles used by Imperial ground forces.

1st class MILLENNIUM FALCON 


An extensively-modified freighter, the Millennium Falcon is ‘the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy’.

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

The presentation pack has plot summaries of the films along with facts and figures to appeal to Star Wars fans.

Some of the sheet stamps are also available from philatelic outlets in ‘stamp sets’ of 10 of the same design.

As well as stamps cards and two conventional first day covers, there is a choice of three medal covers.

 

PRICES

Set of 12 stamps  £7.56

Miniature sheet  £3.78

Presentation pack  £12.35

Stamp cards  £8.55

First day cover (stamps)  £9.55

First day cover (mini sheet)  £5.02

Medal cover  £15.50

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   1/5

It’s a very successful film franchise, but it’s essentially just not British

QUALITY OF DESIGN   2/5

Although little more than portraits, the designs are as slick as you would expect

WOW FACTOR   2/5

Great for Star Wars aficionados, but few of these stamps will be used in the post