William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher, with illustrations by Nicolas Delort (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, #4). | Format: Hardcover, 169 pages, Quirk Books, 2013. | Source: From the publisher through a giveaway. | Add this book to your Goodreads TBR!
Here it is! The first review of 2015! Happy New Year!
If you’ve read William Shakespeare’s Star Wars or want to, you’ve probably (almost definitely) seen the classic Star Wars films. (And if you haven’t seen the movies–then get on it! Because they’re epic!) This entertaining book by Ian Doescher isn’t just a rewrite in iambic pentameter of the movie’s script. Yes, it does transform many famous lines from the film into Shakespearean dialogue (full of nay, aye, thou, ’tis, fie, prithee, desir’d, imperi’l, vex’d, etc), but a lot of characters have completely new monologues that Doescher wrote himself. Most notably and memorably being R2-D2’s thoughts, which are written in English. He is quite a sarcastic little fellow! Though he still only communicates in beeps and whirs to his comrades.
The book is formatted like a play’s script. It starts off with the list of Dramatis Personae (i.e. “Jabba the Hutt, a boss” and “Greedo, his bounty hunter”), then has a Prologue and five Acts. There are numerous beautiful black and white illustrations by Nicolas Delort that depict the iconic characters in Elizabethan era garb. Speaking of Greedo, though–I had a great laugh on page 77, when Han says, aside, “And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!” You’ve got to be a Star Wars fan to understand the reference…
Because anyone who has read this book has undoubtedly seen Star Wars: A New Hope, I can say that it is so much fun imagining the characters in the movie speaking the lines from this book. It’s very funny when the characters get all melodramatic, and when the jokes and one-liners are transformed. (Page 125, Leia: “Now prithee, shall this walking carpet be / removed from my path?” Haha.) I’ve watched the movie countless times so I could visualize this entire book perfectly. I was very pleased with Doescher’s attention to detail and his faithfulness to the original story.
I highly recommend this book to Star Wars lovers, and Star Wars lovers who also appreciate Shakespeare. If you haven’t experienced any Star Wars, go do that before reading this book–don’t spoil the movies for yourself! And if you haven’t experienced any Shakespeare, well, have you been living under a rock? I’ll be honest and say–I like Star Wars more than I like Shakespeare. But both are pretty great, nay? ♦