With tickets now available for pre-order, a poster released yesterday [see here], and a trailer arriving later tonight [watch four teasers here], excitement for Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens is reaching fever pitch ahead of its arrival this December.
To commemorate the occasion Royal Mail is set to release a set of 18 special stamps tomorrow, which celebrate the Star Wars series of films with illustrations from British artist Malcolm Tween that depict nine iconic characters from the first six films, along with Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) from The Force Awakens.
You can check out hi-res images of each of the individual stamps here.
Along with the character stamps is a 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.
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.
BOBA FETT (played by Jeremy Bulloch)
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.
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.
MINIATURE 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 is set for release on December 17th in the UK and December 18th in the States and sees J.J. Abrams directing returning stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), in addition to Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Ken Leung (Lost), Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones), Max von Sydow (The Exorcist), Jessica Henwick (Spirit Warriors), Christina Chong (24: Live Another Day), Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and newcomers Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen.