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Darth Vader goes postal

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Darth_lReally, it was only a matter of time before this happened: First-class postage rates are going up to 41 cents. Well, okay, that, and the fact that, to inaugurate the new price structure, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a set of 15 commemorative Star Wars stamps, just in time to celebrate the sci-fi series’ 30th birthday this May. Yay! Because, you know, nothing says “I love you” more than a letter to your sweetheart with a Boba Fett stamp on it. As Darth Vader (pictured) would say, “Impressive, most impressive.”

It’s also interesting, most interesting, for many reasons:

• The featured images — BF, DV, old Obi-Wan, Yoda, Han Solo and Chewie, Anakin fighting Obi-Wan, Queen Amidala, Luke, Leia and R2, Emperor Palpatine, the Stormtroopers, C-3PO, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Maul, and an X-Wing Fighter — do not include Jar-Jar Binks. Phew!

• In fact, just three folks on the stamps — Annie, Padmé, and Darth Maul — come largely from the prequels.

• No Lando.

• No Ewoks.

• The series includes the images of actors who are still alive, albeit in the guise of fictional characters. This skirts a general USPS rule that only dead people can be on stamps. So, hey, now you can send your rent check to your landlord in an envelope sporting Natalie Portman’s purdy mug. Should ease the pain, I guess.

• No Jabba.

The USPS is encouraging everyone to vote for their favorite stamp, which they’ll then issue in a special run later this year. I pick Han and Chewbacca. What about you, young Padawans?