The Star Wars stamp debate


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14 October 2015
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In our special Star Wars stamps debate, Stamp Collector editor Matt Hill and magazine contributor David Bailey argue for and against the idea of Britain issuing Star Wars stamps…

Find out more about Royal Mail's Star Wars stamps…

A Disney film, on British stamps?

Well, yes, but there can be few other blockbusters with such a strong link to our nation, argues Matt Hill.

Indeed, the British influence on Star Wars is what gives the films that air of quality, the acting talents of Alec Guinness, for example, trading off with the more cheesy dialogue he once described as ‘bloody awful, banal lines’.

There’s no denying the stamp set is aimed at film fans rather than philatelists (it’s possible to be both, of course) and profits are an obvious factor, but shouldn’t new stamps occasionally aim to be hugely popular, inspiring the public to use, collect and admire postage stamps?

This exciting set gives us the chance to share our hobby with thousands of ‘non-collectors’, we can use the stamps to grab the attention of youngsters and show them that stamps can cover all kinds of subjects, that they can be exciting, contemporary and accessible. Yes, we want younger generations to embrace the more academic aspects of our hobby, but forming a collection of science fiction stamps could lead to a lifelong interest in stamp collecting…

When British stamps have celebrated popular culture, there’s usually been an anniversary involved (Alice, Dr Who, Tolkien, Bond) or the subject is indelibly British (Hammer, Carry On) or is a major cultural export (Beatles, Classic Albums, Potter), writes David Bailey.

This set is to promote the release of the umpteenth movie in a 38-year-old franchise, created in America.

With previous sets, the designers have usually put their own slant on things. The Star Wars stamps stick slavishly close to the key art images sanctioned by the studio, right down to the ‘iconic’ typeface.

Our special stamps have always featured people and things that have already made their mark on popular consciousness; that’s why they’re special. The Star Wars set launches three new characters – coming to a multiplex near you!

So the films are made in Britain. Do we put Nissans on stamps because they’re made in Sunderland? Perhaps we will, next time they have a new car to launch.

Share your views by e-mailing the editor, or why not add your thoughts to our facebook page?


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