William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HAN: —Nay, not that:
The day when Jabba taketh my dear ship
Shall be the day you find me a grave man.

GREEDO: Nay oo’chlay nooma. Chespeka noofa
Na cringko kaynko, a nachoskanya!

HAN: Aye, true, I’ll warrant thou has wish’d this day.
[They shoot, Greedo dies.]
[To bartender:] Pray, goodly Sir, forgive me for the mess.
[Aside:] And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!


I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. I don’t think I’ve never seen or read any of his plays. Since forever I’d thought that I would find the language or the story boring or something. You know how it is with some things; they rub you the wrong way once and you keep having an unexplainable prejudice against them for years thereafter.

Verily, I stumbled across this work while looking for Expanded Universe publications. At first I was skeptical for the reasons above but it didn’t take me long to discover the brilliance of this here tome. By the way, I read/listened to it in audiobook form, which felt much more like watching the play with the script at hand.

I shall try to be brief. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars not only is a masterpiece of genre mash-up, being something more than the sum of its parts. It made me laugh out loud (for real) with its deliciously tongue-in-cheek yet very serious and perfectly executed Shakespearean interpretation of the story we know and love: for instance, it’s written exactly like the script for something that would be put up in the Globe Theatre, with acts, scenes, entrances, exits, monologues — even Chewbacca and R2-D2 get a few [!!], plus it’s completely written in iamblic pentameter — quite an achievement in itself — and follows various classical drama tropes sublimely. It gave me new insight to the motivations of Han, Luke or Darth Vader; it even made me stop and think why I haven’t read Shakespeare before. In fact, the epilogue by writer Ian Doescher made me realise just to what extent good story-telling has been based on what Joseph Campbell’s introduced and explained in his work
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
, and how a cross between Star Wars and Shakespeare ultimately makes a lot of sense and can prove thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating.

If you like Star Wars, the English language or simply seeing how far-fetched yet creative ideas can strike gold when done right, I cannot recommend this audiobook enough, although apparently the printed edition comes with some clever and beautiful illustrations (check the cover).

Here’s a little snippet I’m posting here I couldn’t post on Goodreads. Just listen to Vader sharing his inner thoughts and motivations with the audience.

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