The United States Postal Service unveiled their collection of 15 new 41-cent Star Wars postage stamps today at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, where the first movie opened nearly 30 years ago.
Of the 15 images on the stamp sheet, the USPS is inviting the public to vote on its favorite. The stamp receiving the most votes will be honored with the issuance of a single stamp, which will be for sale later this summer. Voting starts today online at www.uspsjedimaster.com and will run through May 23. The winning stamp will be announced at the first-day-of-issue ceremony on Friday, May 25, at the Star Wars Celebration IV event at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
[Stamp sheet image at right © 2007 USPS. All Rights Reserved. Large view of Front and Back of stamp sheet.]
The commemorative stamps, which feature images from all six movies in the Star Wars saga, were painted by artist Drew Struzan. The images are: Luke Skywalker; Han Solo and Chewbacca; Princess Leia Organa with R2-D2; C-3PO; Yoda; Queen Padmé Amidala; Obi-Wan Kenobi as seen in Episodes IV, V, and VI, Anakin Skywalker battling Obi-Wan Kenobi; Darth Vader; Emperor Palpatine; Darth Maul; Imperial Stormtroopers; Boba Fett; the Millennium Falcon; and an X-wing fighter.
David Failor, executive director of Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service, who was joined by President of Lucas Licensing Howard Roffman, along with Darth Vader and R2-D2, had the following to say at the ceremony:
Because of the movies’ popularity, we believe these stamps have the potential of reaching the blockbuster status of the Elvis stamp, a milestone only the Force could attempt to surpass. The Star Wars films have timeless qualities that cross generations, just like the United States Postal Service.
The design of the stamp sheet includes the Star Wars logo and background images of a space battle, including a Star Destroyer, TIE fighters, X-wing fighters, and the second Death Star under construction, as seen in Return of the Jedi. The background also includes the lightsaber-wielding form of Darth Vader, whose helmet comprises the largest of the 15 stamps. The back of the sheet includes extensive text describing the dramatic roles that each featured character or vehicle plays in the Star Wars saga.
As previously reported at Geeks of Doom, the USPS began on March 16 placing approximately 400 R2-D2-themed mailboxes around the country as part of the Star Wars 30th anniversary celebration.
The USPS’s participation in the celebration won’t stop there. They’ll also offer factory-sealed, Star Wars-themed Express Mail Pre-paid 3-packs, with portraits of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Darth Vader, available only online for a limited time beginning April 6. The packaging will be available to ship on Sunday, May 6, through Saturday, September 1. The USPS official Web site, which currently all dressed up in a Star Wars theme, has the limited-edition envelope artwork for download as a desktop image.
From March 28 through May 7, visitors to the USPS official Web site can enter the Jedi Shipping & Mailing Master Challenge Sweepstakes to win an all-expenses-paid trip for four to the 30th Anniversary Star Wars Celebration IV event in Los Angeles, which runs from May 24 to May 27.
Sweepstakes participants have to solve six different challenges about USPS products and services featuring a Star Wars theme. As each question is answered correctly, customers are automatically moved to the next challenge. At the start of the sweepstakes, customers enter their contact information into a sweepstakes form. There is a limit of one entry per challenge, for a total of six entries.