Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Star-Wars-William-ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope
by Ian Doescher
Quirk Books, 2013
176 pages (hardcover)
Source: McLean & Eakin

Available
Amazon
Powell’s

There I was strolling through McLean & Eakin—a favorite place to stop when I’m in Petoskey, MI—and before me, would you know it, was the book I was looking for.

Ian Doescher’s, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, offers a mashup of genres that the curious fan of both cannot ignore.

The Star Wars saga continues in this fantastic parody that lives and breathes Elizabethan English. Like a play (e.g. A Midsummer-night’s Dream), it’s broken down into acts and scenes, noting who is speaking and transitions (“Exit Princess Leia”), even including a chorus (“It is a period of civil war, The spaceships of the rebels, striking swift.”). To give it a period flare, the volume offers several well-done woodcuts of famous scenes.

Scifi fans and literary-types alike will enjoy Ian Doescher’s creativity and re-imagined scenes. Here are some examples:

Leia’s kiss for luck

A kiss for luck before our flight, dear friend,
A kiss upon thy cheek from lips of mine,
A kiss to give thee hope and confidence,
A kiss to bring us courage in this time.
Now take the kiss—my gift bestow’d by choice—
And on the other side we’ll soon rejoice.

C-3PO and R2-D2

C-3PO:
Now is the summer of our happiness
Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!
Our ship is under seige, I know not how.
O hast thou heard? The main reactor fails!
We shall most surely be destroy’d by this.
I’ll warrant madness lies herein!

R2-D2:
-Beep, beep,
Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep beep beep, whee!

C-3PO: We’re doomed.

Han Solo

‘Tis but the ship that hath the Kessel run
accomplish’d in twelve parsecs, nothing more.
Imperi’l starships have I slyly ‘scap’d,
But nothing more of that. And neither do
I speak about bulk-cruisers small, but vast
Corelli’n ships, yet nothing more, no more.

So needless to say, I had to buy it. If you love Shakespeare and you love Star Wars, then get ye to a bookstore or library. It’s a fun read.

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