The Empire Striketh Back
(William Shakespeare’s Star Wars #2)
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
|The Empire Striketh Back
By Ian Doescher
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Genre: Play / Science Fiction
from the publisher
COMING OUT SOON, ON MARCH 18!
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
Last year, I posted a few brief thoughts on Shakespeare’s Star Wars, which I found really hilarious and excellent. Eric Smith at Quirk Books noticed, and asked if I was interested in volume 2.
The Empire Striketh Back is of course the same stuff, that is, Star Wars recounted in the style of the Bard, with rhymes, chorus, list of characters entering and exiting for each scene, etc, just like a real play.
But I found it even better. Ian Doescher is getting a real Jedi of the iambic pentameter! It flows, even sometimes with rhymes, like for the very first chorus of the play.
Ever more so than in the 1st volume, you even have here and there hints at some plays by Shakespeare. Had you ever imagined Leia as a new Juliet? I had not, but reading what she says in that style, it made me rethink of the whole story. Between Romeo and Juliet and Star Wars, don’t we have here some very common human archetypal characters and patterns?
LEIA: Thou must not do this to impress me, Han.
[Aside:] Already he hath won my heart, ’tis true,
Yet would I rather live to tell him so!
R2-D2 is so much like many funny fools in Shakespeare:
My path shall be to play the fool and watch:
I shall maintain my droid like silence and
Bear witness as the boy becomes the man,
The learner doth become the Jedi true.
There are so many great passages I could quote, for instance the tragic soliloquy by Exogor (pp.85-86), not unlike Shakespeare’s Macbeth or King Lear.
And how about instead of watching Vader and Luke fight with their lightsabers, you hear the chorus tell you all about it? That was a powerful passage for me. Here is just the beginning:
O mighty duel, O action ne’er surpass’d:
The lightsabers do clash and glow like fire.
Darth Vader in the villain’s role is cast,
While Luke’s young temper turneth soon to ire.
They flash and fly like dancers in a set,
Yet never dance did know such deadly mood.
Our story endeth, though our hearts do burn,
And shall until the Jedi doth return.
end of the play, p.164
And I can’t wait until July, when volume #3 will be available.
I also enjoyed the Afterword, where the author explains some of his choices, for instance why he has Yoda speaks in haiku! Really neat stuff.
The black and white illustrations are also fantastic, not mentioning the awesome cover.
VERDICT: If you are a Star Wars fan, you absolutely have to read this book, reaching now not only to far away galaxies, but to far-gone days when a certain famous man writeth in a style many still acclaim today. The mix is unforgettable, and through it, you may even discover new dimensions to your most favorite interstellar movie.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
The saga that began with the interstellar best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars continues with this merry reimagining of George Lucas’s enduring classic The Empire Strikes Back.
Many a fortnight have passed since the destruction of the Death Star. Young Luke Skywalker and his friends have taken refuge on the ice planet of Hoth, where the evil Darth Vader has hatched a cold-blooded plan to capture them. Only with the help of a little green Jedi Master—and a swaggering rascal named Lando Calrissian—can our heroes escape the Empire’s wrath. And only then will Lord Vader learn how sharper than a tauntaun’s tooth it is to have a Jedi child.
What light through Yoda’s window breaks? Methinks you’ll find out in the pages of The Empire Striketh Back! [provided by the publisher]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ian is a Portland native, and lives in Portland with his spouse and two children.
He has a B.A. in Music from Yale University,
a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School,
and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary.
He is currently the Creative Director at Pivot Group LLC, a full service marketing,
research and web agency in Portland, Oregon.
[FROM HIS WEBSITE].
You can follow him on Twitter @iandoescher
HAVE YOU READ THE FIRST BOOK ?
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF SUCH A MASH UP?
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