Beard: May the Force be with theeWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you do when you’re a fan of both “Star Wars” and Shakespeare? If you’re writer Ian Doescher you combine those two loves into one and get the eclectic Quirk Books to publish your mash-up. “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” is the classic 1977 space opera film “reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter” and it’s ready to challenge both your wit and your patience with its obsessive-compulsive parodying of two famous fictions. Aye! There’s the rub!
Doescher and his publishers take this all very seriously, though the tome’s loaded with humor. Part of the fun here — if you never intend to wrestle with its entire 3,076 lines — is to seek out all those well-known “Star Wars” quotes and see how the author interpreted them. To wit: “O help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, help. Thou art mine only hope” or “To say it brief: pray let the Wookie win” or the ever-popular “Art thou not small [o]f stature, if thou art a stormtrooper?”
Beyond that, the author strives to infuse this flight of fancy with true Shakspearean voice and stretches out monologues that not only comment on the human condition within that Galaxy Far, Far Away, but also bring in bits from the Bard’s other works, like Hamlet. In fact, Luke Skywalker has a wonderfully wicked soliloquy as he ponders the helmet of a man he kills on the Death Star:
“Alas, poor stormtrooper, I knew ye not,
Yet have I ta’en both uniform and life
From thee. What manner of a man wert thou?
A man of inf’nite jest or cruelty?
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is more than just a simple satire of two universes; it’s an ode to both the Bard and George Lucas. There’s a lot of love here and it’s evident in every line and delicately inked illustration. It’s also safe to say that the book could go over well with both Star Wars fans and Shakespeare admirers, though one must admit the latter might get the joke more so than the former.
Luckily, if a Star Wars fan just can’t devote his or her attention to reading the book, there’ll be the inevitable stage productions of “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” cropping up any moment now.