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Updated: September 05, 2021

This is the USPS New Star Wars Droids Pane of 20. Star Wars Droids, the marvelous mechanical characters inspired by a galaxy far, far away, have entertained and inspired for more than four decades. In 2021, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates these wondrous creations with a pane of 20 stamps featuring 10 favorite droids.

Grouped in four rows of five, the stamps vary in height to best suit the proportions of each droid. Individual characters are set against soft-focus backgrounds that evoke settings of memorable adventures.

On the first and third rows are: IG-11, a dangerous bounty hunter turned protective guardian; R2-D2, a brave and gifted "astromech" (mechanic-navigator), who, partnered with C-3PO, routinely saves the galaxy; the towering K-2SO, a glitchy, cynical, semi-obedient droid reprogrammed to assist the rebels; D-O, a tiny character who emulates BB-8, who rescued the excitable droid from longtime neglect; and L3-37, an outspoken combination astromech-protocol droid.

The second and fourth rows feature: spherical BB-8, a brilliant, childlike astromech and a fan favorite; C-3PO, a worry-prone protocol droid?a diplomat conversant in millions of languages; a gonk droid, a vital walking battery working to provide power to the highly mechanized galaxy; a 2-1B-series medical droid, which tends to the galaxy's diverse "biologicals"; and Chopper (C1-10P), a grumpy old droid and an essential crewmember of The Ghost, a Rebel starship.

Moviegoers were first immersed in the Star Wars galaxy in 1977. The first film's opening moments recount the misadventures of droids R2-D2 and C-3PO stranded on the desert planet Tatooine. Ever since, "Artoo," "Threepio," and numerous other Star Wars mechanicals have been key to many thrilling adventures.

No other film fiction had ever portrayed artificial intelligence so developed and varied. Aside from the awe-inspiring designs of the droids, much of their appeal derives from their relatability as characters. Droids often exhibit free will, emotion, and funny, quirky personalities-by-products of accumulated exploits and cobbled-together programming.

Greg Breeding was the designer of the stamps and pane, and William Gicker was art director.

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