Friday, June 27, 2014

Series Review: William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher

"In time so long ago beings our play,
In star-crossed galaxy far, far away"

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope
Inspired by one of the greatest creative minds in the English language—and William Shakespeare—here is an officially licensed 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 fearsome 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 & William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return 
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 Jedi 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!
When Quirk Books offered to send me this entire series, I couldn't resist. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. So, do you love Star Wars but maybe Shakespeare isn't for you? Or are you the opposite? Well, I've got you covered. My sister Luisa is going to play the part of "guest reviewer" and tell you her opinion from someone who keeps Shakespeare at arm's length but loves Star Wars. Read on to find out two completely different perspectives about this amazing trilogy! 

From a Star Wars fan (by my special guest!): 

Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars series is one of the wittiest adaptions of the Star Wars movies.

I can say with the out most heart, that this book is not only on point with both works (the Shakespeare's plays and the Star Wars franchise) when it comes to accuracy, Doescher also managed to have a very well written book.

Now, this is coming from someone who is not, in anyway, a fan of Shakespeare but is a huge Star Wars fan. When reading these books I found myself loving the style (iambic pentameter) in which they are written and laughing at every page. For those Shakespearean lovers, this is not one hundred percent Star Wars. The writer also channels Shakespeare's plays like Henry V and Julius Caesar throughout the books.

As a fan of the Star Wars series, I appreciate that Ian Doescher stayed true to the plot of the books and movies. He made the encounters with the characters both insightful and funny. I almost died of laughter while reading R2-D2's lines which were only beeps and squeaks. Also, the illustrations on the cover are absolutely brilliant and eye candy for the fans of the franchise (and those who can appreciate good cover art.)

Now, combining these two great things together gives us an amazing book that is hilariously clever and makes for a fun read on a weekend!

From a Shakespeare fan: 

I have a confession to make. I wasn't too familiar with Star Wars. Sure, I know the catchphrases and the plot twists. I even worked at Disney and had plenty of exposure to the Star Wars Weekends that takes place every year. However,  I was a child when I watched the films and that was a looong time ago. I was curious to see if I would even care about these books or if the Shakespearian aspect alone would be enough to win me over. To say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved is an understatement.

This trilogy---the first book in particular---is so witty. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times and that never happens. The humor was spot on and it never felt forced or weak. I was concerned that I was going to be really confused since I'm not too familiar with the characters . That never happened.  I ended up feeling like I've known these characters all along. Their monologues were beautifully written and gave the characters their own unique personalities. 

I was literally attached to these books. Nothing could've forced me to put them down. They are all super fun and easy to read. You'll get through them quickly but you'll want the experience to last forever. However, once you can't drag the experience out any longer, there's a FANTASTIC afterword waiting for you. I'm telling you this just in case you need more encouragement to pick them up. Also, Doescher used different speech techniques throughout the books and they were all brilliant. If you've read the first one but need a little motivation to read the rest: Yoda speaks in haiku. Enough said. 

William Shakespeare's Star Wars is an absolute joy to read, a brilliant use of Shakespearian style, and a great representation of a cult classic. If you are a Star Wars fan or a Shakespeare fan or both or doesn't matter. I can't recommend it enough! 

Note: The last book in the trilogy, William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return, is out July 1st!
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