Star Wars By Way of Shakespeare

Image Source: Quirk Books
Image Source: Quirk Books

Star Wars captured the minds of a generation and has sense mesmerized generations since. Let’s just abolish those recent additions from our mind and remember the hey day of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Return of the Jedi has taken it on the chin for many years. The Ewoks garnered a lot of haters, but if there is one thing that the new films helped to lessen, it is that hate. For Jar Jar is a more egregious affront to the senses than cute, furry, and wiley ewok. I am sorry I like the Ewoks. They represent a purity and innocence in the world of Star Wars that just could never be captured by the aquatic mishap of the Gungans.

Star Wars is sacred to many and exemplifies the heights to which Sci-Fi/Fantasy as a genre can aspire. It’s an epic story and like Star Wars, “Shakespeare’s work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature. In particular, he expanded the dramatic potential of characterisation, plot, language, and genre. Until Romeo and Juliet, for example, romance had not been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy. Soliloquies had been used mainly to convey information about characters or events; but Shakespeare used them to explore characters’ minds (Wikipedia).” In the words of his friend and rival playwright Ben Jonson, “He was not of an age, but for all time (Folger Shakespeare Library).”

I imagine you could probably devise a multitude of interesting literary mashups but what if Shakespeare meets Star Wars? Meet William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher and soon to come in March and July are the follow-ups that retell Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the voice of The Bard.

Image Source:  Washington Centerville Public Library - Fine Print
Image Source: Washington Centerville Public Library – Fine Print

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime 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.

I haven’t read the retelling, but I am curious enough to try it out. By no means am I a Shakespeare scholar, but I will happily report back whether it makes for a good read or not. I would be even more curious of what a serious Shakespeare fan and/or scholar has to say about this book.

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