The New Zealand Mints biggest licence at the moment is undoubtedly Star Wars. More than any other mint, the NZM has released entertainment tie-ins for years, like Doctor Who, Disney and Thunderbirds, only the Perth Mint with Star Trek, and the Royal Canadian Mint with Superman and Looney Tunes are any competition.
Star Wars, although it debuted in cinemas back in 1977, is back big time with the latest movie, The Force Awakens, smashing box-office records around the world. With George Lucas having sold the rights to Disney, there are numerous movies planned with the next one to be a standalone movie called Rogue One, due out at the years end and telling the story of the theft of the Death Star plans that kicked off the first movie all those years ago. Disney have a busy schedule of new films due out over the next few years that will keep interest in Star Wars very high. It seems the NZM have signed up at just the perfect time, no doubt helped by already doing a good job with the Disney range.
The first NZ Mint coin to be released was also the first in what we think will be the big hit of the range, Classic Star Wars. Showcasing Darth Vader, the clean-struck coin was available in one and quarter ounce gold variants, and as a one-ounce silver. That was repeated for the second release, Han Solo. The Vader coin was also available, although not at launch, as a Deathstar-sized one-kilo coin and while Han Solo has yet to make the leap, we’d imagine the possibility remains, especially with such an iconic design. Mintages for Yoda remain at 10,000 for the silver, with the gold at 1,000 for the ¼oz and 500 for the 1oz.
A pretty iconic design again, this one should be popular with fans, of which there are millions. A nice touch we’ve not seen before with this series is the use of a slightly cropped image for the ¼oz coin. This keeps the image of Yoda looking bigger than it would otherwise do if the reverse design perfectly replicated the one-ounce versions. Packaging is unchanged from the previous pair of coins and prices stay at US, $85.00, $620.00, and $2,500 respectively. Available to order later today, the coins will ship from 24 April.
After its release in 1977, Star Wars captured the head and minds of a generation around the world.
In the days of the Old Republic, Jedi Master Yoda was the most wise and powerful of all Jedi. Diminutive and unassuming, Yoda had no equals in his keen insight into the Force, or in his agile skill with a lightsaber. For over 800 years, Yoda instructed young Jedi and instilled them a profound sense of discipline, strength, and unity. The Jedi Order nobly served the Galactic Republic and maintained peace and order for over a thousand generations before the dark side re-emerged and plunged a helpless galaxy into the hands of the evil Sith. During these dark times, Yoda became the last of the Jedi and the only hope in instructing young Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force. Through his last apprentice, Yoda helped Luke to fulfil his destiny – a destiny that would finally restore peace to the galaxy and honor the legend of the Jedi.
Yoda is the third character to feature in the Star Wars Classic coin collection.
REVERSE: This coin features Yoda on th planet Dagobah, as in the 1980 release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
PACKAGING: The Star Wars Classic: Yoda coin comes presented in a high-quality Star Wars themed coin packaging. The packaging makes this an ideal gift for any Star Wars fan. The Certificate of Authenticity sits within the coin case.
A Grand Master of the Jedi Order, in his 800 years, Yoda has had a hand in training almost all the Jedi Warriors, as well as srving on te Jedi Council for many years. Of unknown origin, Yoda’s background is never mentioned in any Star Wars canon, a deliberate act on the part of George Lucas who believed it would allow th charcter to be more mysterious.
Without doubt one of the major characters in the movies, and indeed the plethora of television series and books that make up the Star Wars Universe, Yoda is a fine choice for the third of the New Zealand Mints coin series, and likely to be hugely popular.
THE COIN SCENE
Depicted on the planet Dagobah, Yoda is first seen in the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back where he is visited by the young Luke Skywalker for training in the use of The Force. Initially disbelieving that this small creature could be so powerful, Yoda agrees to teach Luke.
There are some fine scenes on the planet, the lifting of an X-Wing from the swamp, a much background-filling in conversations that first hint that if Luke fails, there may be another to take his place – we now know to be Leia.
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