Review: Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, Ian Doescher

January 6, 2014 Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Review: Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, Ian DoescherShakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
Published by Quirk on July 2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 174
Format: Hardcover
Source: My copy
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository

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.

OBI-WAN Alas — I sense the game, and we’re the pawns.
That is no moon. ‘Tis a space station there.
[The Death Star looms in the distance, growing closer.
HAN ‘Tis far too large a space station to be.
LUKE My feelings now do stir, I sense them well!
They tell me we shall lose the match we play.
OBI-WAN    Pray, turn thee now the ship around.
HAN I shall!
Now Chewie, lock thou quick th’auxill’ry pow’r.
LUKE Why do we still approach? What can be done?
HAN It hath th’advantage, using tractor beam
To pull us in, unto its landing bay.

William Shakespeare meets Star Wars: One of the greatest stories to be told (in certain opinions) told in the style of one of the greatest storytellers to have lived. It’s a match made in heaven!

Of course, if you’re a die-hard Shakespearean scholar you may not find the adaptation to your taste – it’s not meant to be a real Shakespearean play, but a retelling of the Ep 4 script. Likewise, I’m sure there are some Star Wars fans out there who’d hate this take on their favourite story. Personally, I thought it was just delightful!

Ian Doescher has done a wonderful job of bringing the script for Episode 4 not only into iambic pentameter, but in capturing so many of the character quirks that make the movie so enjoyable. In addition, he has included many nods to the Bard throughout the text (“What light through yonder flashing sensor breaks?”). Each character has asides to the audience and soliloquies to discuss their situation. There are even winks to the fandom here and there which had me chuckling.

I was lucky enough to get my copy of this book for Christmas, and my family and I had a very enjoyable morning flicking through and quoting passages that caught our eye (it helps that my brother does a mean Darth Vader impression!). I’d pay good money to see this play on the stage. Someone get on that!

five-stars If you’re any kind of combination of Star Wars and/or Shakespeare fan, get yourself a copy of this book. Honestly, it’s just brilliant, light-hearted fun.

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

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