Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Royal Mail will publish a stamp issue on 20 October 2015 to mark the release of the latest instalment in the Star Wars series of films.
December 2015 will herald a massive global phenomenon with the much anticipated release of Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens due for release in Britain on 17th December 2015 followed by the USA one day later on the 18th December.
All Star Wars fans will be fully aware of the strong British connections with the franchise starting with Star Wars itself which was filmed at Elstree Studios, near London. Many of the other films were also filmed in Britain and Episode VII – the Force Awakens is no exception having been filmed at Pinewood Studios, London and on location at the Forrest of Dean in Gloucester.
The stamps celebrate some of the most iconic characters from the franchise and were chosen following insight from Disney and LucasFilm regarding the fan’s favourite characters. The Minihseet will focus on the vehicles.
Reason and inspiration
The series began in 1977 and so far there have been two trilogies of movies. December 2015 will see the theatrical release of the Episode 7 - The Force Awakens, which has been filmed at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, using British expertise in cast and crew, and the two further episodes in this final trilogy will be filmed in the UK.
The producers of the new movies decided to return to a British studio and crew whose expertise and professionalism contributed to the success of the earlier films. The new film, The Force Awakens, will reunite the three US principle actors from the original trilogy, reprising their iconic roles, as well as the robots R2-D2 and C- 3PO and the alien Chewbacca. New characters will be introduced, many of which are played by British actors and include Daisy Ridley and John Boyega (both cast as leads).
From the very beginning British talent has featured strongly among both the acting and production talent including David Prowse, Darth Vadar; Alec Guiness and Ewan McGregor, Obi Wan Kenobi; Anthony Daniels, C3PO; Kenny Baker, R2D2; Iain McDairmid, Emperor Palpatine; Christopher Lee, Count Doku; Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca; and many others including Liam Neeson, Peter Cushing and Terence Stamp. The British connection also extends behind the camera with world leading British talent and from Costume to Special Effects.
Disney’s decision to base production in the UK is a major contributor to the British Film Industry. Not only is it providing employment and exposure for British acting talent, it also employs the British technical expertise of Pinewood studios from set design and cinematography to costume design. In the field of digital special effects, London is already a world centre, and the effects for the new Star Wars film have been created by the London office of Industrial Light and Magic (Lucasfilm’s effects company).
The UK is the third largest market in the world for the Star Wars films, and the new stamps both reflect the passion of the British public for the movies, and celebrate the major British contribution to the film series and the global success of the British film industry.