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William Shakespeare's Star Wars Hardcover – 2 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (2 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594746370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594746376
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The Bard at his finest, with all the depth of character, insightful soliloquies, and clever wordplay that we've come to expect from the Master. For those who wish to read the Star Wars legend in the original Elizabethan, this is the book for you."--Timothy Zahn, New York Times bestselling author of Scoundrels

"I'm delighted to have "William Shakespeare's Star Wars, "and have read it with great pleasure. What a fine idea, to set this in the world of Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 C-3PO and Darth Vader! A period of civil war, rebels, the Galactic Empire, the death star. A star-crossed galaxy! Ian Doescher does iambic pentameter well. This is a hoot!"--David Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, University of Chicago and co-editor of "The Bantam Shakespeare "series

"Well-read geeks have breathlessly waited
For what Ian Doescher hath created
This book's cover is the door
To a Star Wars ne'er seen before"
--Daniel Wallace, "New York Times" best-selling author of "Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters"

"An elegant translation for a more civilized age. Let's face it--if you love Shakespeare or Star Wars half as much as I do, you've already bought this."
--Adam Bertocci, author of "Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, "writer-director of "Brooklyn Force "and "Run Leia Run, "and moderator of TheForce.net

"Zounds, the Forsooth is strong in this one! Two of the most creative minds in the universe collide with spectacular, hilarious and surprisingly touching insight into the original classic. This truly is Star Wars as you like it."--Joe Schreiber, author of "Star Wars: Death Troopers "and "Lenny Cyrus, School Virus"

"Whether your tastes run to Alderaan or Avon, this reimagining of Star Wars overflows with heart and wit." --Jason Fry, author of "Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare"

About the Author

Ian Doescher earned a B.A. in music from Yale University, an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in theology from Union Seminary. He currently works for a marketing agency in Portland.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
“Verily, a New Hope”

If you’ve ever wondered how William Shakespeare would have approached writing Star Wars, wonder no longer! Because Ian Doescher has gone back in time, discussed the whole George Lucas scenario with William, and brought back the real thing for us to read. Yes, this is Star Wars as envisaged by William Shakespeare. Let me give you an example of how this works:

Act 1
Scene 1
Aboard the rebel ship
Enter C-3PO and R2-D2

C-3PO Now is the summer of our happiness
Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!
Our ship is under siege, I know not how.
O hast thou heard? The main reactor fails!
We shall most surely be destroy’d by this.
I’ll warrant madness lies herein!
R2-D2 - Beep beep,
Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, beep, beep, whee!

And so on, you get the idea.

This is great fun; if you’ve seen the original Star Wars movie, you’ll get the whole story, as told by Shakespeare himself. “’Tis a tale told by fretful Droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers” … indeed. I’m looking forward to the next parts of the saga, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ancient Mariner on 16 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I like books like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and even some of the "Fifty Shades of..." parodies. But they tend to be sort of one-note efforts, even if they are entertaining, and a little bit can go a long way. I expected that same sort of reaction when I started this book, but guess what? - there's a lot more of interest going on here.

This is not just phoney baloney Shakespeare with a lot of forsooths and thees and thous. The author has devoted some real thought to how the Star Wars characters measure up to Shakespeare's characters, and has made a legitimate effort to capture the cadence, style, feel and flow of Shakespeare's, (and other Elizabethan playwrights'), dramatic approach. Darth Vader, whom I have often thought of as not just "a" but possibly "the" central character in the series has the feel and dignity and tragic presence of Richard, ("I have cast my fate upon a throw..."). C3PO and R2-D2 are worthy successors to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern or maybe even Falstaff.

Now, this isn't Shakespeare and I don't imagine there will be Ian Doescher societies, at least not based on this book, but, boy, this is an interesting and rewarding effort that actually enhances one's appreciation of the entire Star Wars arc. I can certainly see why this would be in any Star Wars fan's library, but it might also be of interest to more casual readers as well. And, not to sound too much like your hippy-dippy high school English teacher, this might be an excellent and creatively weird choice for a high schooler who is reluctant to read "great literature". That might be asking too much, but since the book isn't arch or cutesy or precious, but just straightforwardly what it is, it might be worth consideration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt VINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Such a simple concept and so well executed. I had never heard of this book when I received it as a Christmas gift but was instantly thrilled and couldn't wait to read it. It took me less than a day to get through and I'll certainly read it again soon (although I've just started the Song of Ice and Fire series so it may be a while, unless I need a break).

My only criticism is that the joke does wear off fairly quickly and while there are some great laugh out loud moments (mainly parodies of famous soliloquies by Shakespeare) the laughs do seem to diminish somewhat the further you read.

If you are a Star Wars fan (it helps to have a good memory of the film dialogue) and enjoy (or can tolerate) Shakespeare's plays/iambic pentameter then this is definitely worth a read. I have no doubt that Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi will make an appearance before too long.

Note: This didn't bother me one way or the other but for purists out there, the additional scenes from the Special Editions are included here so you get to see Han Solo talking with Jabba the Hutt and Luke with Biggs Darklighter before the Battle of Yavin. Also, for any alien dialogue (such as Jabba or Greedo), there is no translation so unless you can remember what was said in the film, you may loose track a bit.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As both a massive Star Wars and Shakespeare fan this book is my dream come true. As usual R2 steals the show. A genuinely funny well worth a read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kiwiclover on 30 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have a love for Shakespeare and for star wars you will get much enjoyment from this book. I literally was laughing out loud! :) great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on 1 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Funny, well made book that is both entertaining and a great addition to the Bard's alternative collections :) Brilliant as a gift for Shakespeare and Star Wars fans alike!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By simon ogborn on 23 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great idea, good book; along the lines of may the "With you may be the Farce!" or should it be the Force.
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Format: Audio Download
this review is for all the 3 audiobooks of the Shakespeare star wars collection, with Audible I had to buy the 3 books separately (as far as I know they have not published this on CD), instead of writing 3 different reviews with the risk of repeating myself I decided to write only one and insert it here.
the audio production of the 3 books (at the time of writing the total price is almost double than the print version, even so I think it is worth to listen to them) are highly entertaining, not only because of special effects
they bring the text to life, the voices are fantastic, high professional recording like what one would expect from Random House Audio, even the music in the background is the original John Williams soundtract from the Star Wars series.
at the end of every book there are interesting afterwords by the author where he reveals his inspiration, explains how he worked the Shakespearian way and other information.
I am not enough qualified to say if this is work of genius but it is certainly very original and funny, I found myself smiling many times.
there are 2 downsides which for me will not spoil the rating I am giving: 1 is a technicality and 2 has no connection with the book itself, it's just an ecxtra audio feature in the third and last book of the series, I do not know if it is present in the print edition.
1 to me the voice that reads (or speaks) the opening and closing announcement of all 3 audiobooks sounds like a seller in the market! for me this is not suitable from a humouristic, serious or 'spoof' point of view.
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