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{January 8, 2014}   {Review} William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

Star WarsFrom Goodreads: 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 fearstome 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.

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William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is a read every Shakespeare enthusiast will love!  Likewise, it will make teaching Shakespeare to students that much more interesting.  To take a story like Star Wars, one the masses know, love, and understand, and to transition it into Shakespearean language is ingenious, and I am very excited to work with it in the classroom a bit as we gear up to read Hamlet.

The play begins with a sonnet that I can’t wait to show my students, and Doescher does a great job sticking to the Elizabethan form—it looks and sounds just like Shakespeare! I am highly impressed, and I’m so very glad I stumbled across this book.

Perhaps my favorite part was the humor of R2D2, especially his asides in which he actually speaks in sentences as opposed to beeps!  I’ve always wondered what a transcript of what R2 was saying would look like, and Doescher gives us some hilarious insights.  I also really enjoyed picking out the references to Shakespeare’s great classics throughout the novel.  There is one such scene in which Luke laments killing a starship trooper, and it actually mirror’s Hamlet’s famous “Poor Yorick” monologue quite well.

All in all, this is great fun and I highly suggest lovers (and teachers) of Shakespeare scoop it up. Four Stars.

4 starsThe novel was given to me for free during NCTE 2013.

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