Monday, July 8, 2013


A little known fact is that George Lucas stole Star Wars from the world's greatest playwright (and thief) William Shakespeare.   Ok, that's complete bunk but it would be pretty amazing.  Still, this wonderful mash-up of Shakespearean English and Scruffy Nerf Herders exists in Ian Doescher's mind.  Out last week from Quirk Books is his edition of William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope.

Now, I'm just going to assume that anyone reading this knows the story of Star Wars: A New Hope and not recap it here for you.  If you don't know A New Hope, leave wherever you are RIGHT NOW and find the Star Wars original trilogy and watch it now.  Seriously, you need to see what all the buzz is about.

The story stays basically the same but I will say it was fun to read in old english.  For those who love Shakespeare's work, you will see homage paid to many of his classic characters.  Luke doing parts of the St. Crispin's Day speech, Han channeling Petruchio or Romeo, depending on the moment, and Leia giving off a strong Beatrice vibe.  Admittedly, towards the end of the book, I started to burn out on the near-constant homage in certain areas but that it only a downside to a big Shakespeare fan.

This writing style does lend to an expansion of certain characters, like R2-D2 (best character of the book!) and General Tarkin, by giving them 'asides,' a chances to speak directly to the audience about their thoughts. That's how we know that R2 has a devious streak and Obi-Wan's secret plans to direct Luke towards the Force.

This is an interesting take on the classic Star Wars tale.  I totally recommend this for a Shakespeare or Star Wars fan.  This is also the perfect gift for the kid that needs to study Shakespeare but can't quite grasp the language.  I will say, like all Shakespeare, it is really meant to be heard, not read.  I give it a few months until someone stages a reading and I hope to be in the audience.  Until then, I leave you with these parting words from R2-D2: "Beep, whistle, nee, meep, squeak!"

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