William Shakespeare’s Star Wars – a Review

Ian Doescher has brought new life to Shakespeare with William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  When I first heard the title of the book, I was convinced I had misunderstood something.  Shakespeare and Star Wars together?  How could the famous science fiction/fantasy tale be told in the iambic pentameter used by the Bard of Avon?  Would it even be readable?

William Shakespeare's Star WarsThe book was definitely readable.  I can describe it with just one word:  brilliant!

I had to read many of Shakespeare’s plays in high school.  When I first started reading them, the iambic pentameter they were written in was hard for me to understand, so I didn’t really like them.  But I found that the more I read his plays, the more I enjoyed them.  The words flowed so smoothly together, and that way of speech, even though it wasn’t easy to understand, was so beautiful.  And I discovered that his stories really were enjoyable.

I have never read a Star Wars book, but I have seen some of the movies.  It was so long ago that I no longer remember the story.  The characters have still stayed in my memory though.  This book has reintroduced me to their fascinating story in a unique way.

Homeschooling moms and teachers, this book is definitely one that you should have your students read.  Not only will it give them a taste of Shakespeare as they read a story they probably already know, but it will prepare them for reading the Bard’s own works. If this book had been written when I was homeschooling my own children, it most definitely would have been part of the curriculum.

Jabba the Hutt, Quirk Books

Jabba the Hutt, Quirk Books

The black-and-white illustrations strategically placed throughout the book only added to my enjoyment of the story.  Never before had I dared to imagine Jabba the Hutt in Elizabethan garb.

The bickering between Luke, Han, and Leia is awesome when done in Shakespearean-style speech.

To be properly enjoyed, this book really should be read out loud.  Even better, have an entire group of people reading it at the same time and assign each a different character.

Except for when the Chorus (narration) speaks up, all of the writing is dialogue.  Because of this, you get to know the characters really well.  The things they say are most revealing.

In the scene where Luke learns that his aunt and uncle have been murdered by the Imperial Stormtroopers, his dialogue is passionate and heartfelt.  Unless you were transported back to Shakespeare’s day and age, it is doubtful that you will ever hear anyone speak like that unless it is in a play, but the words Luke uses to express how heartbroken he is are beautiful.

Many lines from Shakespeare’s works have been referenced for Wiliam Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  For example, in Act III, Scene 4, Luke says to Han Solo:

But O, what now?
What light through yonder flashing sensor breaks?

Reading Star Wars like it would have been written by Shakespeare himself was great fun in itself, but seeing what lines I could recognize as having been in the plays by Shakespeare I read while I was in high school made it even more fun.  I’m amazed I remembered them well enough to recognize any of them.

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  If you would like to purchase this book for your own reading pleasure, I have provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Recommended Article: Ian Doescher Interview – William Shakespeare, Star Wars, and Iambic Pentameter

 Ian DoescherAbout the Author:
Ian Doescher, author of the William Shakespeare Star Wars series, has loved Shakespeare since eighth grade and was born 45 days after Star Wars Episode IV was released. He has a B.A. in Music from Yale University, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Ethics from Union Theological Seminary. Ian lives in Portland, Oregon, with his spouse and two sons. Visit Ian online at www.iandoescher.com.

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