INDIANAPOLIS – “Star Wars” and its cast of characters have been captivating and inspiring fans for more than 40 years. For many, the most-beloved personalities are the droids.
Droids have been a staple in the “Star Wars” galaxy from the very beginning. They are engaged as loyal companions, etiquette and protocol aides, and sidekicks. The U.S. Postal Service has embraced these engaging personalities and brought the droids’ unique appeal to a pane of 20 Forever stamps.
The stamps are a nod to the commitment of Lucasfilm and its parent company, The Walt Disney Company, to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and the continued collaboration between the “Star Wars: Force for Change” philanthropic initiative and global pre-K-12 nonprofit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Together, “Star Wars: Force for Change” and FIRST are on a mission to expand access to STEM learning and robotics to more young people around the world.
Now customers, whether they support the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, can add a touch of astromech to their mail. The Forever stamps were dedicated during a virtual ceremony and are now being sold online and at Post Office locations nationwide. The first-day-of-issue location for the stamps is Nicasio, CA.
“I grew up with “Star Wars” and love sharing the stories and inspiration with my kids,” said dedicating official Isaac Cronkhite, chief logistics and processing operations officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service. “The Postal Service has a long history of looking to the stars as inspiration for its stamps, and for celebrating the innovation, science and technology it takes to get us there, which is why the “Star Wars” droids are a perfect fit for stamps. These new Forever stamps represent more than four decades of technical innovation in the service of brilliant storytelling.”
Cronkhite was joined for the ceremony by Lynwen Brennan, executive vice president and general manager at Lucasfilm, Doug Chiang, vice president and executive creative director at Lucasfilm, and Anthony Daniels, the actor who performed as C-3P0 in all nine Skywalker saga films.
“Droids have been a centerpiece of “Star Wars” for generations, capturing the hearts of fans and igniting imaginations,” said Lynwen Brennan, executive vice-president and general manager at Lucasfilm. “The U.S. Postal Service perfectly captured the charisma of each droid in this new stamp collection and we’re excited for fans to spread their love of these iconic characters throughout our galaxy.”
Memorial Day weekend, 1977: In the opening moments of the first film, “Star Wars: A New Hope”, moviegoers were entranced by a stranded pair of the most personable droids ever seen — the courageous R2-D2 and his nervous partner, C-3PO. Our galaxy has never been the same.
Aside from the awe-inspiring looks and clever functions, much of their appeal comes from their relatable personalities — at times they’re funny, quirky, irascible and even sensitive. Numerous “Star Wars” adventures have followed since the first film debuted, bringing with them a growing menagerie of treasured droids, as well as joy and inspiration to their fans.
Droids doing good
“Star Wars” droids are a motivating factor for many fans to pursue STEM. Through STEM education, children can learn how to be critical thinkers and embrace technology to create a better world for themselves and future generations.
Unfortunately, not all children have access to STEM learning. To address this challenge, “Star Wars: Force for Change” and FIRST have teamed up to bring more hands-on, mentor-based robotics programs to historically under-resourced and underrepresented communities worldwide.
‘Star Wars’ Droids – Forever stamp
The Forever stamps and pane were designed by Greg Breeding. William Gicker was the art director.
Arranged in horizontal rows, the stamps are in varying sizes and depict 10 of the more well-known droids in the “Star Wars” galaxy.
The selvage features a blue-gray-tinted detail from a passageway from the floating Cloud City above the planet Bespin. Centered at the top is the iconic stacked “Star Wars” logo in white, followed by the word “droids” in a modernistic block typeface, in pale blue-gray.
First in the lineup is IG-11, who begins life as an assassin droid and dangerous member of the Bounty Hunters Guild. IG-11 was reprogrammed to protect Grogu and was introduced in 2019 in season one of the hit series, “The Mandalorian”, streaming only on Disney+.
R2-D2 is a favorite of fans and a pillar of the “Star Wars” stories since first introduced in “Star Wars: A New Hope”. Often called “Artoo”, he is a courageous astromech droid — mechanically and navigationally gifted, and the constant companion of C-3PO.
A reprogrammed Imperial security droid now loyal to the Rebel Alliance and friend to Capt. Cassian Andor, K-2SO is glitchy, cynical, prone to sarcasm and disobeys minor orders. “Kay-Tuesso” can be found in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.
D-O is a tiny, excitable one-wheeled custom droid who first appeared in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”. He was found lying dormant on an abandoned ship on the planet Pasaana. Once recharged by BB-8, the impressionable D-O emulates his spherical droid rescuer.
A self-made gifted navigator and outspoken advocate of droid rights, L3-37 is a rare combination astromech and protocol droid. She can be found in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, where she and Lando Calrissian co-pilot the “Millennium Falcon” to Kessel, a cavernous mining planet, to join a dangerous raid.
Adored by “Star Wars” fans new and old, BB-8 is skittish but brave. He made his debut in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as the fiercely loyal astromech droid of Poe Dameron, Rey and their Resistance allies.
The 2-1B-series medical droid was introduced in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”. It treats Luke Skywalker after he was attacked by a wampa on the ice planet Hoth and mends Luke’s hand following his fateful duel with Darth Vader in Cloud City. These mechanical medics tend to humans and all of the galaxy’s diverse “biologicals.”
One class of droids seen quite often in the “Star Wars” stories are the GNK (or Gonk) power droids. These unassuming walking batteries are vital, providing power throughout the highly mechanized galaxy. The power droids’ nickname comes from its simple vocalization, “gonk.”
Constructed by a young Anakin Skywalker and programmed for etiquette and protocol, C-3PO is a human-cyborg relations droid who is conversant in over six million forms of communication. “Threepio” is a mainstay of nearly all the “Star Wars” films and a constant companion to R2-D2. Though worry-prone, C-3PO was involved in some of the galaxy’s most defining moments and thrilling battles.
Last, but not least, is Chopper, more formally known as C1-10P. He is an essential crewmember aboard the “Ghost”, a Rebel starship. He is also a grumpy, older model droid who was introduced in the “Star Wars Rebels” animated series and makes a cameo in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.
The “Star Wars” Droids-inspired stamps are being issued as Forever stamps. News of the “Star Wars” Droids stamps is being shared with the hashtags #StarWarsDroidsStamps and #DroidsStamps.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm, the studio that created the “Star Wars” franchise.