Just when I thought there were no new ideas in the Star Wars Universe… Verily, there is a new hope.
As if George Lucas and the Bard of Avon had collaborated (while drinking a little divine wine), William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is the sci-fi story we all know and love, but reimagined in iambic pentameter. Oh, the places we will go!
All the main players are here, but with the added attraction of having a chorus to narrate and sing the storyline. I loved this addition and could vividly hear their voices in my head. Bonus points for pairing them with an already-classic John Williams score… this would be an instant-best-selling soundtrack! I fully imagine a production company to take this idea to an off-off Broadway theater somewhere and watch it become a huge hit!
Flashes of my Advanced English high school class danced throughout my head while reading this book. Occasionally, the primary characters will perform a monologue as if an aside, as in Shakespeare’s time. Many of which are introspective and sometimes funny. R2-D2 even has one, where he speaks English and laments “pretending” to be a simple droid, albeit one which is vital for the rebellion’s victory.
The Elizabethan illustrations perfected this reimagination. I can vividly imagine many cosplayers of today costuming these characters (has that ever happened to a pop-culture novel?).
The book is a quick, fun read. Ian Doescher’s 3,076 lines of iambic pentameter puts it on course to being the average length of previous Shakespearean plays. Its conclusion hints of a Shakespearean sequel. I can only imagine the drama of The Empire Strikes Back will become an instant hit.
As a lifelong fan of Star Wars, I’m kind of a purist to the canon of George Lucas. I’m not prone to veer into Extended Universe literature too often, but there have been notable exceptions (Death Troopers is a must-read and Red Harvest is my next one!). This whets my appetite for the upcoming Star Wars stand-alone sequels, starting in 2015.
Strength: Star Wars, cosplayed by Shakespeare
Weakness: Not all scenes are fully represented
WTF Moment: It’s unclear if Han shoots first (in a wink and nudge from the author)
– “Get in, thou furry lump!”
– “Pray, R2-D2, where art thou?”
– “I find thy lack of faith disturbing.”
– “To say it brief: pray let the Wookiee win.”
– “Aye, these are not the droids for which we search.”
– “Thou shouldst not underestimate the pow’r The Force doth hold.”
– “The travel unto hyperspace is not the same as thine a’dusting of the crops.”
– “This station now hath power ultimate o’er all else in the vast, vast wide universe!”
– “Tis words that do betray my better self whom harshly they express my droidly rage.”