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'William Shakespeare's Star Wars' by Ian Doescher
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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:23 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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I thumbed through it at Chapters the other day. Looks like so much fun! I'll probably pick it up from Amazon soon.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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I've got it, but I haven't read it yet, beyond reading a few choice passages aloud to my family. It has really nice artwork, and I think it might be best read aloud (just like a real Shakespeare play!)
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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth_Henning
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Got this in the mail last week.

Haven't read it through either yet, but It looks awesome. The art work is very impressive!!
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:03 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Well, as it seems I'm the only one reading this, I've been asked by Hogy to provide some thoughts. Alas, I am no good at writing in the Shakespearian tongue, so if you want some of that, ask Hogy. Or read the book. Either/or.

When approaching this book, it would be easy to think of it as merely Star Wars dressed up as Shakespeare, as just a money grab, but that would be unfair. It could also be thought of, dismissively, as just a retelling of an old story, and not worth the investment of time, effort and money, but that too would be unfair. It could be said to be thus, and technically both would be accurate - though I don't know much about the money grab thing - but it is much more. To leave it at that would be like saying in summary of Empire Strikes Back that Han, Chewie and Leia got lost in an asteroid field, that Luke went camping in a swamp and accidentally misplaced a hand. To be sure, it is essentially Star Wars rewritten, but done so beautifully, with a great amount of detail and care given to the crafting of each sentence. Exquisitely done so so that it fits perfectly with the Star Wars narrative, and also with the Shakespearian language, and indeed, the culture of the time. Done so, so that any line, save perhaps the ones mentioning x wings, could have been taken from one of his plays.

It is a play which is quite conscious of its derivation, and acknowledges it with a spirit, humour and charm. Granted, others' mileage on that may vary, but I found it to only enhance the narrative. A fair few times can sly asides be read in reference to things both in and out of universe - such as the debate of Han shooting first; or what Obi Wan was thinking, when bending the truth in his hut; or a brief note on the repetition of information from the Greedo scene to the Jabba scene. It also with regularity steals quotes from other Shakespeare plays. I recall, during the trench run, Doescher liberally lifted from two different speeches from Henry V ('once more into the trench, dear friends' and 'we three, we happy three, we band of brothers'). Again, mileage may vary, but it was done with such style and skill that I can only look on such instances with fondness. Though it was done liberally, they never felt out of place, and were intertwined with the rest of the speech (though I've not read all WS's plays, I think it can be said that the rest was of Doescher's own creation) so as to feel entirely natural.

The story doesn't really diverge from the film - special edition, not original, for those curious - save for the inclusion of numerous soliloquies, each well written, and often add another layer to the scene, even if only just stating the previously unstated, but that which was understood by the viewer. There were too many that stuck in my mind, though special mention goes to the Obi Wan inner monologue before telling Luke of his father, in his hut; the TK 421 and friend dialogue; several scenes by Artoo - yes, he gets to actually speak -; and the last two scenes in the last act (the battle of Yavin), spoken by numerous characters. All were quite relevant to their scenes, and were not meandering word-vomits written just because it was thought that there would be one in an actual Shakespearian play, and so there should be one here. As I say, when it was right that there should be such a scene, there was, and when it was inappropriate, there was none - it was keenly judged, and such scenes do not interrupt the flow.

As well as Doescher did, it should be noted that Star Wars itself, in its original form, ably fits in the Shakespearian narrative. As Doescher himself says in the afterword, thanks to Lucas' drawing on mythology, from one book in particular, George Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, so it should be of no surprise that Star Wars fits its new setting remarkably well.

It may just be a simple retelling of an old story in new-old clothes, and may not be earth shattering in its writing - it's not Shakespeare, after all - and may not add much, if anything more, to the mythos and lore of Star Wars, but it is an enjoyable read, one painstakingly written to appear easy to read, and enjoyable, one you can relax into for an amiable afternoon. For a first time writer, albeit one well versed in both Shakespeare and Star Wars, Doescher has done exceedingly well.
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I want to read it. My library just doesn't have it.
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:58 am Reply with quote  
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  Hogy
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Now I want to read it too.
But like in Reeps case, my library doesn't have it and I'm still not willing to pay for it.
Good job on the review Life!


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:16 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Thanks! Smile
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I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it (or even read all of it). These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.


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 PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:27 pm Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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The sequels have been announced:

The Empire Striketh Back
http://quirkbooks.com/empirestrikethback

and The Jedi Doth Return
http://quirkbooks.com/jedidothreturn
_________________
"But it was so artistically done."

“No. I am Ganner. This threshold is mine. I claim it for my own. Bring on your thousands, one at a time or all in a rush. I don’t give a damn. None shall pass.”

"Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it."


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Cover for 'The Empire Striketh Back'



Cover for 'The Jedi Doth Return'


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