Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher

William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
July 2013 by Quirk Books
176 pages--Goodreads

Inspired by one of the greatest creative minds in the English language-and William Shakespeare-here is an officially licensed retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter—and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations--William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you’re looking for.

To like this book, you need to be both a Shakespeare nerd and a Star Wars geek.  Being a fan of both, William Shakespeare's Star Wars was hilarious.  Doescher does an excellent job of re-scripting the story in Elizabethan English in a humorous rather than stuffy way.  The asides and soliloquies are great and the iambic pentameter never feels forced.  Doescher also weaves in quotes from Shakespeare here and there, my favorite being when Luke starts reciting the Saint Crispin's Day speech to inspire the rebels.

The action sequences are a bit boring to read since the Chorus just gives us a play by play, but there's no other way to make that work in the context of a play.  Shakespeare didn't give stage directions, so we need a character of the Chorus to say what happens.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars is a goofy sounding combination that hits the mark.  It's a loving parody of both source materials.  I'm looking forward to The Empire Striketh Back.

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