Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: William Shakespeare's Star Wars®, William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher

Trinitytwo’s Point of View

I am forgoing my usual short synopsis of the stories I review because in this case I think I am justified with assuming that most people already know a little something about the original Star Wars trilogy.

I’ve loved Star Wars since I saw the first film in 1977. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to review these books. However, I will admit to being a bit nervous about the “Shakespearean” component. Honestly, I admire the Bard and absolutely love Shakespearean theater, but given the choice it is not the first (or even second) book I would pull from a shelf to read. If you have similar fears, let me put them to rest: Ian Doescher’s triple combination of the beloved bard, George Lucas’ classic Star Wars saga, and a few of the author’s own secret ingredients creates one of the most enchanting and delightful series imaginable. This well-loved story written in Shakespearean style made the material fresh and exciting.

Pay special attention to the asides and soliloquies: they can be funny, poignant or sad but each gives a unique insight into character personality or motivations. I really love Doescher’s books the best when he shares our cherished character’s innermost thoughts. For instance, how does C-3PO really feel about R2-D2, or vice-versa? Haven’t we all wondered what Obi Wan was really thinking when he told Luke his father was killed by Darth Vader? Speaking of Vader, what are the thoughts behind that monstrous mask? Are Stormtroopers people with ideas and hopes, or just faceless soldiers? How did Luke and Leia feel when they found out they were siblings after their infamous kiss? Is the Emperor all bad?  Doescher’s narrative resolves these mysteries and more.

I also want to take a moment to gush about the illustrations in all three volumes, drawn by the talented Nicholas Delort. They help readers to visualize their favorite characters in frilly ruffs and doublets and are absolutely brilliant.

Forget the nunnery and get thee to a bookstore to pick up all three of these delightful tomes. Each one is a “must read,” so whether you are spending your summer in the sands (Tatooine), stuck at work (Death Star) or are on some exotic jungle adventure (Endor), you need to trust your instincts because there are no Jedi mind tricks here, only great reading!

William Shakespeare's Star Wars®
Series:  William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy 1
Publisher:  Quirk Books, July 2, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781594746376 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

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.

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back
Series:  William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy 2
Publisher:  Quirk Books, March 18, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
ISBN: 9781594747151 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

The saga that began with the interstellar best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars continues with this merry reimagining of George Lucas's enduring classic The Empire Strikes Back.

Many a fortnight have passed since the destruction of the Death Star. Young Luke Skywalker and his friends have taken refuge on the ice planet of Hoth, where the evil Darth Vader has hatched a cold-blooded plan to capture them. Only with the help of a little green Jedi Master—and a swaggering rascal named Lando Calrissian—can our heroes escape the Empire's wrath. And only then will Lord Vader learn how sharper than a tauntaun's tooth it is to have a Jedi child.

What light through Yoda's window breaks? Methinks you'll find out in the pages of The Empire Striketh Back!

William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return
Series:  William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy 3
Publisher:  Quirk Books, July 1, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781594747137 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jed Doth Return. Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter.

 Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!

1 comment:

  1. Ha. I rarely watch book trailers, and am not a huge fan of mashups, but between Trinitytwo's reviews and these trailers, three new books just got added to the TBR!