William Shakespeare s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope
by Ian Doescher
Illustrated by Nicolas Delort
Quirk Books, 2013, HB $14.95, 174pp
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Delightfully cast in iambic pentameter verse, the first movie/fourth episode of Star Wars can now be read and performed as drama.
Ian Doescher had all the film dialogue memorized when he was inspired to write this, so original phrases abound. R2D2 departs from his usual blips and beeps in a speech that establishes him as a Puck-ish wag; Darth Vader gets to declaim a monologue in the best tragic style, part doomed villain, part fallen angel; and Luke has a magnificently heroic speech upon discovering the destruction of his aunt and uncle’s home.
If you are familiar with Shakespeare’s plays, you will detect echoes of characters and scenes from such plays as All’s Well That Ends Well, Macbeth and Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is the best of both worlds, because the familiar story and the recognizable language are married to sweeping rhythms and cadences. And Delort’s pen and ink illustrations are darkly imaginative.
I hope Doescher takes this not-lost labor of love further; I’d really like to see what he does with The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Jedi. ~~ Chris R. Paige