Over the past few years we’ve seen many geeky off-shoots of the classics. There were several versions of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Meowmorphosis, and Android Karenina. Coincidentally, all published by Quirk Books. It’s time for something different. This isn’t a retelling of a classic novel with added awesomeness. In fact, there’s nothing added at all. Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars does something none of these other books do. It takes the story of Episode IV: A New Hope, as it is- dialogue and all, and retells it in the lyrical iambic pentameter of Shakespeare.
I know what you’re thinking. Just like I’m dubious about Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, my favorite Shakespeare play of all time, you’re probably thinking Doescher can’t possibly do the Baird or George Lucas justice. Au contraire mes amis! PlayItGrand bet that once I received the book I wouldn’t be able to put it down and she was right.
I’ve found when reading Shakespeare it’s better to read it out loud than to read it silently. Why, you ask? Because the full force of the iambic pentameter is best experienced with inflection and sound. WS Star Wars was no different. What better way to experiences C3PO’s “droidly rage?” (Seriously, the best phrase in the entire book). If you were looking for a way to introduce your kids to Shakespeare, this is it. They’ll already be familiar with the story. It’s just told in a different manner. This is the perfect book for mom and dad to read out loud at bedtime.
Just like Shakespeare, the characters often break the Fourth Wall and speak to the audience. I imagine these are Doescher’s own additions, but he does a fantastic job of maintaining character throughout. Particularly fantastic are R2D2’s insightful musings. I won’t give anymore away, but be on the lookout for them.
Overall, this book was amazing. I would make one particular recommendation though…PURCHASE THE HARDCOVER! This book is beautiful. The binding, cover art, and paper quality make it all worth the extra dollar. I kid you not, it’s only $1 more than the Kindle edition. This is one book you’re going to want in your library.
I give Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars 5 out of 5 gypsy wagons for brilliance, originality, and introducing The Baird to thousands of new readers.
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will be available July 2, 2013 from Quirk Books.