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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Roussel

Review: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

MAY THE VERSE BE WITH YOU!



You really don’t need much of an introduction – this is the Star Wars movie “A New Hope” rewritten in iambic pentameter, just like the style of Shakespeare’s plays. And if that doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will.


It’s an amazing read. Luke becomes the Shakespearean idealist young hero, R2-D2 becomes the sly servant and comic relief (yes, he does have a speaking role!) and Darth Vader becomes the tyrannical evil king. There’s something like a Greek Chorus in there too who are mostly there to narrate the action.



The play brings us such classics as:

OBI-WAN True it is, that these are not the droids for which thou search’st.

And

OBI-WAN And yet thou canst not win, I’ll warrant. Darth For it thou strike me down, e’en now, e’en here, I shall more great an dpowerful become Than e’er thou hast imagin’d possible.

While I was reading this, I realised how far storytelling has come. Forget today’s show, don’t tell mantra – Shakespeare’s plays are heavy with long soliloquies were the characters detail their every intention and motivation, which gives the play a very foreign feel, despite being of a movie only being forty years old.


The material and the style seemed almost a perfect match. Star Wars leans into a lot of chivalric themes of honour, duty, sacrifice and the corruption of power. And, what would you know, Shakespeare's plays are often about honour, duty, sacrifice and corruption of power. It’s a bizarre combination, like a fish finger sandwich, but it works!


I actually met the author, Ian Doescher, at London’s ComicCon last year and he signed his latest book, William Shakespeare’s the Force Doth Awaken. I also shared with him my theory as to why Shakespeare and Star Wars are so perfectly suited to another and frankly, I think he was glad to see the back of me. I’m really not given to fangirling, but I go wide-eyed and a bit mental over writers.


What I desperately want to see is this performed on the stage. I don’t quite know how it would work, but damn do I want to see it. This is perhaps one of the nerdiest books out there and was, I’m convinced, written for me. It combines two of my favourite things, Shakespeare and Star Wars. It’s a hilarious and fascinating read and I absolutely love it.


Rating


Safe to say, I give this book 5 Stars and completely recommend it to anyone who’s either seen the movies or is a fan of the Bard.

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