USPS announces 15 Star Wars stamps & a vote

Not being the most popular site on the Web (yet), I have to celebrate small victories here at The Film Frontier, so . . . with all due humility . . . what can I say, but . . . I called it!

But first, the big news of the day. The United States Postal Service unveiled 15 Star Wars stamps that will be sold as a pane starting May 25 — the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars. For more details and to see the new stamps, check out http://www.uspsjedimaster.com.

Also announced today, the postal service is holding an online vote to determine which of the 15 stamps will be available on its own, separate sheet in addition to the group pane. The vote is only the second time in history that the public will help to determine the fate of a postage stamp.

Here was my speculation (pulled out of thin air, mind you; I had no “sources”) back on March 17:

Associated Press reports yesterday also seemed to confirm the obvious, that the big announcement on March 28 is indeed for Star Wars stamp(s).

Will the announcement be as simple as that, though? Or will the post office deliver up another Elvis-style contest? Rather than 50s Elvis vs. 70s Elvis, it could be Vader vs. Yoda, for instance.

While the same person cannot be honored on more than one US stamp within the same decade, there is no such restriction on fictional characters. Any such contest would be only a marketing ploy. And they would never do that, would they?

Unlike Elvis fans, who were only able to purchase the winning stamp, Star Wars fans will have the opportunity to buy all 15 stamps no matter which one prevails. The postal service will be turning most of these sales into pure profit, since many of the stamps will never actually be mailed. I’d have to call that a win-win scenario.

The 15 stamps (and contenders for the solo sheet) are as follows:

  • Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • The Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)
  • The Emperor (Return of the Jedi)
  • Vader vs. Obi-Wan (Revenge of the Sith)
  • Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
  • Leia & Artoo (Star Wars)
  • Threepio (Star Wars)
  • Queen Amidala (The Phantom Menace)
  • Obi-Wan (Star Wars)
  • Boba Fett (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • Darth Maul (The Phantom Menace)
  • Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • Chewie & Han (Star Wars)
  • X-Wing (Star Wars)
  • Stormtroopers (Star Wars)

I was surprised by a number of things. First, I didn’t expect to see depictions of the human characters. I suppose the regulation that a person must be dead for ten years to appear on a US stamp does not apply if recognizing a character played by an actor.

Given the number of items their images have been used on over the years, I imagine the Star Wars actors won’t feel as weird about seeing themselves on a stamp as most others would. Once you’ve been an action figure, it’s pretty much all downhill from there.

And, honestly, I didn’t expect to see any prequel trilogy stamps. I don’t mind it, but it is surprising.  If you’re going to include the prequels, though, why leave out Attack of the Clones?

It would have been nice if Han and Leia had rated individual stamps. They are two of the most important Star Wars characters, after all.

Be sure to vote, early and often.