It's hard to believe because the films never really left the culture, but this year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie. A lot of you just realized how old you are and hung your heads, didn't you? Well, apparently there are some fans working at the always bafflingly unhelpful United States Postal Service, because they're honoring the series with about 400 R2-D2 mailboxes across the country. And the fun doesn't end there. On March 28th, the USPS will be issuing a commemorative Star Wars stamp. I would buy those fast and hang on to them -- that's just the kind of item that could pull a fortune in twenty years' time. No word on the stamp's design, but I'd imagine many a geek is excited about finally getting that chance to lick Princess Leia, Jabba-style.
You should start seeing the mailboxes in high-traffic areas today, but head over to TheForce.Net to see admittedly really cool photos of them now. According to the USPS, "The R2-D2 collection boxes will temporarily replace boxes in highly visible locations across the country. Customers can, of course drop mail into them just like any other of our 280,000 collection boxes, but there's a striking difference visually. Not only do the R2-D2 boxes look like the ever-popular Star Wars character, they feature the address of a website that gives clues about the real meaning behind this unprecedented promotion." [our italics]
Real meaning? We don't know either. As of right now, the website's just a big tease, saying only "On March 28th, two powerful forces will unite. Be the first on the Planet Earth to know why." Surely realizing what an amazing collector's item these boxes would be, the Postal Service is stressing that it is a federal crime to tamper with mailboxes, regardless of what they look like. They can say that all they want, but you can't stop the hardcore Star Wars fans. Mark my words, these things will be stolen off street corners immediately and put on prominent display in parents' basements across America.