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William Shakespeare's Star Wars Hardcover – July 2, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


“Ian Doescher has reimagined the entire first Star Wars film as an Elizabethan play, complete with iambic pentameter and elaborate illustrations. It's geekception.”—The Mary Sue

“...the book is so brilliant you’ll wonder why someone didn’t think of it sooner.”—Paste Magazine

“..another smart tribute fans will enjoy."—The Star-Ledger
“If you are looking for a neat way to get acquainted with Shakespeare or you are a teacher whose students are having a rough time accessing the genius of the Bard of Avon, I highly recommend you give William Shakespeare’s Star Wars  a try!”—GeekMom

“Is it all a great, geeky, inter-galactic goblet of literary fun? Verily!” —

“...a quirky addition to the genre-busting canon...”—Entertainment Weekly
“...what Doescher made is delicious.”—Charleston City Paper
“...brilliant...”—Deseret News
“This is a great read. Author Ian Doescher may not have bested Shakespeare, but he’s certainly one-upped Lucas.”—Asbury Park Press
“As Shakespeare would say, you might think, this be madness, yet there is a method in 't.”—Newsday
“...charming...”—The Courier-Journal
“...the ultimate fan fic.”— ABC News Radio

Doescher’s pseudo-Shakespearean language is absolutely dead-on; this is one of the best-written Shakespeare parodies created for this audience and it is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny for those familiar with both The Bard and Star Wars.”—School Library Journal
“At last, the mother of all mashups is upon us."—
“Nicolas Delort's woodcut-style illustrations are a fabulous mixture of old and new.”—Boing Boing
“For anglophiles, scifi nerds, and probably 9th grade English students.”—The Bookreporter
“[William Shakespeare's Star Wars] is a a brilliant and super-cool way to meld pop culture and high culture”—Bella Online
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is Exactly What You Need For Your Next Geeky Houseparty.”—
“Doescher’s attempt to recreate a Shakespearean play is noteworthy and clever.”—
“If there’s one book perfect for any age, gender or planet of origin, this must be the book.”—Asbury Park Press

“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
“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 has loved Shakespeare since eighth grade and was born 45 days after Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope 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 wife and two sons. This is his first book.

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Product Details

  • Series: William Shakespeare's Star Wars (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; Advance Reading Copy edition (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594746370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594746376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About 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 [Photo by Shan Applegate]

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 191 people found the following review helpful By John Jorgensen VINE VOICE on June 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is just a brilliant adaptation of Star Wars into the style of Shakespeare. Those two things are so different that my first reaction was "This is some kind of joke, right?" But while there's a great deal of humor to be found here, the project is not a parody. Not at all. It's a celebration of two hitherto separate but equally great triumphs of storytelling.

The first step was converting the dialogue of A New Hope into iambic pentameter. This is a great accomplishment in its own right: archaic sixteenth-century grammar and vocabulary are used, giving this writing a very authentically Shakespearean feel; at the same time, Star Wars jargon is faithfully represented: "Now lock thine S foils in attacking mode," for instance, or "E'en now the princess is on Level 5/Detention block of AA-23." Deliberately awkward dialogue from Star Wars is dialed up to eleven, with side-splittingly entertaining results; read the reinterpretation of Han's attempts to convince security that everything is fine in the detention block after his fire fight with the guards there. Unintentionally awkward dialogue, of which Lucas wrote a fair amount, is smoothed over and expanded upon to the point of eloquence; see Wedge's "Look at the size of that thing!" and Red Leader's response of "Cut the chatter." R2-D2's beeps and whistles and untranslated gibberish from alien characters are sometimes used as needed to get a tricky line into blank verse, which didn't bother me any. While contractions like "Millen'um Falcon" and "th'Imper'al Senate" look awful on paper, calling to mind some cotton-mouthed Mississippi redneck, there really is no way around it, given the nature of iambic pentameter.

At any rate, the conversion to blank verse is just the beginning. The dialogue is just so rich.
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86 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Erik1988 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Coincidentally I just finished reading How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, which used actual text from the Bard. After having a dose of Shakespeare and learning to memorize his works, when I got my hands on this I had one immediate response. . .

Ha. Ha. Ha!

I got a good laugh, as the timely classic story we all know so well is put into the form of a stage play with a lot of Thee's, Thou's and the like.

Not nearly as skilled writing as the Bard's trademark rhyming and other fantastic uses of the English language. Now I'm still unfamiliar with recognizing iambic pentameter, but that's supposed to play a big part in this retelling.

Here is an excerpt that folks should be able to place:

HAN: Pray tell, what shall the cargo be?

OBI-WAN: -Myself
The boy, two droids, and ne're a question ask'd.

HAN 'Tis what, a touch of local trouble here?

OBI-WAN Nay, let us simply say it thus: we would
Imperial entanglements avoid

HAN Aye, there's the rub, so shalt though further pay.
Ten thousand is the cost, and ev'ry bit
Shalt though deliver ere we leave the dock.

LUKE Ten thousand? Fie! We could our own ship buy
For such a sum as this.

HAN -A goodly jest!
For who should pilot such a ship -- shouldst thou?

LUKE Thou knave, I could indeed!. . .

As you can see, this is how the entire book reads. It makes the Shakespearean fan have a good laugh and enjoy the Star Wars in a different light.
Also note there are some illustrations throughout that are kinda cool.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Karissa Eckert on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I got a copy of this book to review from the Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. When I saw this book was releasing I really wanted to read it, I love Shakespeare and Star Wars and was eager to see what would happen when the two are put together. The result was very pleasant; I enjoyed the dramatic way Star Wars is done in play form and the wonderful illustrations throughout. I really enjoyed reading this.

This book covers Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in a very Shakespearean format. The book is broken down into Acts and Scenes. Each line is prefaced by who is speaking it (just like in a play). There is a Chorus that covers action scenes too. The whole thing is written in very Shakespeare like language. The book is also interspersed with some wonderful drawings of our heros in their Shakespeare-modified gear.

The only bad part about this book is that I already know how the story goes and ends. So given that, there weren't a lot of surprises here...but there were some. One of my favorite additions were R2D2's soliloquies. Sure he may speak in squeaks and beeps when others are on stage with him, but as soon as he is alone then the soliloquies start. R2D2 does elaborate asides on C3PO's annoying personality and on his own sneaky plans. These are hilarious, add a lot of depth to R2D2, and are just perfect for him.

There are some other additions to the story as well. For example in an aside Obi-Wan debates what and what not to tell Luke about his father. These little asides actually add a lot of humor and thoughtfulness to the story. I thought they actually even improved the story some and made it more complex and interesting.

The language is very Shakespearean, but I still found it easy to read.
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