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William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy) Hardcover – March 18, 2014


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William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy) + William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return + William Shakespeare's Star Wars
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Product Details

  • Series: William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; First Edition edition (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594747156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594747151
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“...enormous fun…” —AVClub.com       
 
“Good luck getting to the end without rolling off your chairs. This book is a hoot.”—McClatchy Tribune
 
“...an inspired illustrated mashup that retells the space adventure in artful iambic pentameter and answers the question: What light through Yoda's window breaks?”—Tampa Bay Tribune
 
“So what are you waiting for? Get thee once more to a galaxy far, far away.”—Paste Magazine
 
“‘Tis a delight.”—Palm Beach Post
 
“This is a must for any fan of ‘Star Wars’”—The Citizen
 
“Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, [William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back] offer[s] essential reading for all ages.”—East Bay Express
 
“Classic literature blended with fun is the best way to describe William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back...”—San Gabriel Valley Tribune

“…masterful…”—Deseret News

About the Author

Ian Doescher the author of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars®: Verily, a New Hope. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

More About the Author

Ian Doescher - author of the William Shakespeare Star Wars trilogy - 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. [Photo by Shan Applegate]

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book was even better than the first book and even more hilarious.
K. Eckert
William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher (2014) 5 stars★ & favorite♥ (William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Book 2) Another good one.
Michelle
He liked this book for the same reason and is looking forward to the next book in the series.
Bonita R. Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C.R. Hurst TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am new to Ian Doescher's reworking of Star Wars a la William Shakespeare, and despite some initial skepticism, I must admit that I am very impressed. Doescher creates a wonderful blend of George Lucas's classic story and the great dramatist's style. In William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back we once again meet the principal cast of Star Wars: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader, and secondary characters such as C-3PO, R2-D2, and Yoda. And their familiar story is organized into prologue, acts, and scenes, as well as with many of the trappings of a Shakespearean drama: iambic pentameter, choruses, asides, soliloquies, and the elegant language of the Bard. Even those who have not read Doescher's first installment, Star Wars, should easily follow the plot--all is needed is a working knowledge of and a fondness for Star Wars and a love of Shakespeare and parody. I recommend The Empire Striketh Back wholeheartedly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Evelynne Robertson on March 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars – The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher is the sequel to William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, a retelling of George Lucas’s space saga in the style of William Shakespeare. I would strongly recommend picking this up as an audiobook rather than ebook or hard copy – Random House Audio’s production is top notch with an excellent cast. It is far more like a radio play than an audiobook and the excellent cast does a wonderful job of telling the story.

What I liked

The source material. The original Star Wars trilogy is a darn good story. It contains a lot of strong themes which would have been as relevant in Shakespeare’s time as today: love, betrayal, youthful impetuousness, struggle against tyranny. Doescher therefore has a strong base on which to base his adaptation. It also isn’t too jarring, for example, when Han rails against Lando’s betrayal in Shakespearean language as it is a theme and emotion found in many of Shakespeare’s works.

Yoda. On my first listen through I was a little disappointed that Yoda didn’t sound too different from the other characters. In the movies, he has a unique speech pattern and I was hoping that this would be reflected in Empire Striketh Back. It was only on reading Doescher’s commentary that I realised Yoda was speaking in haiku! Darn I wished I’d picked that up first time. This is intended to reflect Yoda’s role as Luke’s master – or sensei – in the mystical force giving an eastern feel to it. Brilliant. Appropriate and brilliant.

The production. Random House Audio has gone full out to make this a radio play rather than an audiobook. We have a strong cast, sound effects (including the iconic swish of the lightsabres) as well as snippets of John Williams’ memorable soundtrack.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TrinityTwo on June 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
(Trinitytwo’s Point of View from the Qwillery.blogspot.com *Reviewed the 3 books in the series together)

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?
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phil Keeling on April 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
“Remember,” Ian Doescher says in the afterword of The Empire Striketh Back, “This isn’t scholarship–it’s fun.”

And with sincerest respect to the author of the follow-up to Verily, A New Hope, I disagree. But only because I happen to believe that it’s both. While it’s true that I had my issues with his first installment of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, it was honestly out of love and respect for both source materials. And after reading his second entry, I can say that it won’t stop there.

Doescher has set up two sets of Death Star-sized shoes to fill, and while it’s true that you can’t please everybody, the attention to detail paid by Shakespeare nerds can only be overpowered by the legendary nit-picking of a Star Wars nerd. Being that I’m a little bit of both, I feel properly authorized to examine this new/old trilogy. And to quote the infamous Bill of Kill Bill fame, “I’ve never been nice my whole life, but I’ll do my best to be sweet.”

Right off the bat, we’re given two nods to the Bard–including a speech from the murderous Wampa that is easily 50% flat-out lifted from Snug the Joiner’s “Lion Speech” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is only the beginning of what will end up being entirely too many lifts and “nods” to Shakespeare. Immediately I am not sure what to think. I’m looking for the bleakness of the original Empire Strikes Back, given a firmer foundation through the high stakes gore that a Shakespearean tragedy offers. And throughout the play, it’s clear that it has moments like those. But the vast majority is made up of what I’m forever henceforth referring to as “Talking AT-AT Moments”.
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