The Force Doth Awaken (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The Seventh)

WSSW 7William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh by Ian Doescher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The galaxy is on the brink of war as old and new heroes race to find the last Jedi against vile agents of the imperial First Order in William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken by Ian Doescher. The first film of the sequel trilogy returns us the Star Wars galaxy 30 years after the fall of the Empire as its successor strikes reclaim the galaxy while attempting to destroy those that could stop it but instead of screen or adaptation is translated wonderfully into fantastic Elizabethan prose by Doescher just like Shakespeare might have done.

Though the search for the lost Luke Skywalker is the focus and driving motivation of the entire book, the struggle for one’s own identity is the central theme. Doescher’s fantastic soliloquies by Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren give depth to these new leading characters as they join long established characters of Han and Leia. One of the best surprises of the book is Chewbacca as Doescher “corrects” one of his oversights by “translating” the Wookie’s screams in the footnotes, which given the events during the battle of Starkiller Base is very poignant. The duel between Finn/Rey and Kylo Ren is very well-written with good balance of Chorus lines and character soliloquies that brings about a very complete and compelling scene. And additional nice touches were the humorous lines of the Rathtars and great use of using the small amount of dialog for Snoke to great use.

The Force Doth Awaken is a return by Doescher and all Star Wars fans to what made the franchise fun, but unlike some Doescher embraced the very homage to the first film and used the similarities to great effect in this book. As Doescher like every other Star Wars fan must await the next film, those that love his work will be eagerly awaiting each William Shakespeare adaptation from him.

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Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The Third)

William Shakespeare's Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #3)William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge by Ian Doescher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The dark fate of Anakin Skywalker is realized in “William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge” by Ian Doescher. The final prequel film was witness to the end of love and the rise of empire with little hope at the end, of which Doescher brings out in fantastic Elizabethan language just as Shakespeare would of if he had written it.

The journey of Anakin into Darth Vader alongside the downfall of the Jedi and the Republic to a Sith-led Empire is the central arc of the entire book. Doescher’s use of Shakespeare’s play-within-a-play theme as Palpatine’s vehicle to steer Anakin to the dark side is well done and another impressive choice the author has made throughout this adaptation series. The use of the character Rumour throughout the prequels pays off in this book as this character of Fate is given a departing soliloquy during Anakin and Obi-Wan’s epic duel in Act V. The duel itself is handled masterfully with asides from both characters and direct dialogue between them. Though unable to intertwine the various scenes post-duel, Doescher is able to construct a suitable sequence in which they occur rapidly one upon another to great effect.

The “Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge” lives up to is heartbreaking title, but just as the film it ends with a little glimmer of hope. Doescher hints that he might be adapting the upcoming sequel trilogy, if this is the last adaptation of the Star Wars films into Elizabethan theater then like he begun the series Doescher ends it on a high.

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The Clone Army Attacketh (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The Second)

William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #2)William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh by Ian Doescher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Clone Wars begin in “William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh” as Ian Doescher continued his adaptation of the Star Wars franchise for the Elizabethan theater. As with the film, the Doescher focus’ the play on the love story of Anakin and Padme as the sparks of war whip around them and ignite the galaxy aflame in conflict.

Described as the Star Wars saga’s “romantic” film, the central story of Episode II was that of Anakin and Padme falling in love which Doescher focused much of his energy in establishing in “Attacketh”. Creating one big scene at the beginning of Act III, Doescher gathered influence from Shakespeare’s other romantic scenes especially “Romeo and Juliet” to adequately create this central love story to the stage. Throughout the rest of the book, Doescher continues his excellent adaptation of the Star Wars’ films in dialogue and stage management to seamless perfection for an audience in the last 16th-century. His inclusions of Rumor as a character helps transition the play in necessary intervals dictated due to the poor construction of the film this book was based on, which will not be discussed in this review.

At the end of “The Clone Army Attacketh”, Doescher makes this adaptation more palatable than “Attack of the Clones” was on screen, which only makes the reader admire his work even more. The penultimate installment of the Star Wars saga is now something fans would enjoy watching.

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The Phantom of Menace (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The First)

William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #1)William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ian Doescher takes on the task of bringing the Star Wars prequels to the Elizabethan stage in “William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace” to fantastic results that will be jarring to any of those who dislike the film. Given the first prequel’s notorious reputation amongst the Star Wars fandom, Doescher gives the maligned film a magnificent theatrical presentation that would make any hardcore fan happy.

The biggest issue Doescher had to deal with was obviously Jar Jar Binks, who instead of being just a vacant-minded fool is instead a radical-who-plays-the-fool to help united the Gungans with the Naboo. As one reads, you notice the subtlety that Doescher gives to Jar Jar as the acting fool in front of everyone else and his true political radical personality in soliloquies and asides. The other issue that Doescher dealt with was the 10-minute podrace, his answer was by following Shakespeare’s led in having Padme and Jar Jar act as messengers relating the action of the race to Qui-Gon and Shmi and those the audience. Once Doescher had dealt with these two big issues the rest of “The Phantom of Menace” was like his previous three Star Wars Shakespearean adaptations, keep true to the film while adding background for characters in soliloquies and asides. Doescher even has fun with Qui-Gon and Mace Windu’s dialogues by sprinkling references to Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson’s other film roles but still staying true to the scene in which they are in.

Overall “The Phantom of Menace” is a wonderful adaptation and is a credit to Ian Doescher’s imaginative writing that makes it feel better than its film inspiration. Whether or not you like The Phantom Menace, if you like Doescher’s Shakespearean adaptations do not hesitate to read this one because you will enjoy it.

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The Jedi Doth Return (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The Sixth

William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth ReturnWilliam Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The wonderful combination of Elizabethan theater and the Galaxy Far, Far Away returns in William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher.  Combining his love of the classic trilogy, in particular the concluding installment of the original trilogy, and the Bard, Doescher his  crossover adaptation series by bringing forth the triumphant of Episode VI with iambic pentameter, prose, haiku, and quatrains.

Doescher is out front in noting that The Return of the Jedi was his favorite installment of the original trilogy and it can be seen in his excellent translation of film dialogue to late 16th century English with the soliloquies, speeches, and asides that add depth to all the characters Star Wars fans have come to love.  The addition of new major and secondary characters to the overall story are given lines to better understand their inner thoughts, in particular Emperor Palpatine the ultimate villain of the film and trilogy.  As a result of this approached a better understanding new and previous seen characters is given to the reader than as a film viewer.  Like The Empire Striketh Back, Doescher breaks away from iambic pentameter for several characters, but in particular the Ewoks who’s language is said in quatrains.  The inner feelings of Han and Leia are furthered towards her ultimate coming together while Leia and Luke’s sibling acknowledgement is given greater depth than given in the film.  Like his previous book Doescher used the Chorus less than he did in his first book, instead having characters detail the action like Shakespeare did in his plays.  The key and favorite scenes of the film are given their own Shakespearean spin that brings a smile to the reader’s face.

In a 159 pages, Doescher brings the epic saga of the redemption Anakin Skywalker as seen in Episode VI  to the Elizabethan stage with amazing results.  If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ve got to get your hands on this book.

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The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The Fifth)

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #5)William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The wonderful combination of Elizabethan theater and the Galaxy Far, Far Away returns in William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher.  Combining his love of the classic trilogy and the Bard, Doescher followed up the overwhelming success of his first crossover adaptation by bringing further the tragedy of Episode V in all it’s glory in the form of iambic pentameter, prose, and even haiku.

Doescher continued his excellent translation of film dialogue to late 16th century English with the addition of soliloquies, speeches, and asides that add depth to all the characters Star Wars have come to love.  Lando, Boba Fett, and Yoda being the newest major characters to the overall story are given lines to better understand their inner character which aren’t allowed to come out in the film.  This approached allowed for a better understanding of Lando in particular giving the audience an insight about his motives through the latter part of the book.  Unlike his first book, Doescher breaks away from iambic pentameter for two characters:  Boba Fett as a bounty hunter is “base” enough to just warrant prose speech while Yoda’s unique manner of dialogue was but into haiku.  The inner feelings of Han and Leia towards permeate their scenes, giving a better understanding of their romance throughout the book.  Doescher used the Chorus drastically less than he did in his previous effort and instead had characters detail the action like Shakespeare also did in his plays.  Even with the use of all these inner monologues, Doescher is able to give “that scene” at the end of the film a suspenseful and stunning air about it.

In a 172 pages, Doescher brings the epic nature of Episode V of the Star Wars saga to the Elizabethan stage to amazing results.  If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ve got to get your hands on this book.

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Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part The Fourth)

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

Shakespeare and Star Wars come together to wondrous results thanks to the fantastic writing and imagination of Ian Doescher.  In 176 pages of iambic pentameter verse, stage directions, and some of the best Elizabethan clothed Star War characters ever seen, the reader finds one of the best adaptations of Star Wars ever.

The language is Shakespearean, but it’s very readable and understandable even if you’re not use to late 16th century language (even in quasi-form).  The original dialogue of the Star Wars film is covered excellently with numerous additional lines of soliloquies and speeches by a variety of characters added by Doescher to give the book it’s true Shakespearean element.  However these additions don’t take away from the film, they add to it by giving the characters a chance to express their inner thoughts that we never hear in the actual film.  The soliloquies are full of spoilers from the prequels along with foreshadowing for the sequels that seem to be Doescher’s shout out to Star Wars fans of all kinds.

I can’t say how much I enjoyed this book and how much I think Star Wars fans will like it as well.  If you’re a Star Wars fan check out this book and you’ll have a smile on your face as you imagine the film being transferred to an Elizabethan theater with all the action, adventure, and comedy taking place.

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