William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Though it’s true what Star Trek’s Chancellor Gorkon said, that “you have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read it in the original Klingon,” it’s also true you’ve never experienced Star Wars until you’ve read it in an Elizabethan tongue. Author Ian Doescher moves this Shakespearian interpretation beyond a creative gimmick by embracing both Globe Theatre and Death Star alike and celebrating their unique places in our culture. Doescher has fun with the Elizabethan language and with the fanboy-inducing galaxy far, far away by implanting Shakespearian tropes within the Star Wars universe—a setting already laced with classic literary characters, themes, and structure. Stormtroopers become clowns that speak truths buried in wordiness and winding logic. R2-D2’s beeps and whistles are a ruse, a self-imposed silence that belies how much the droid knows. These are believable twists on the characters that, along with the clever use of asides, enrich the players and the story. Keeping the science-fiction lingo and alien languages intact can occasionally throw the reader. How do you read “computer” in an Elizabethan accent, for example? In general, however, the grand storytelling styles of Shakespeare and George Lucas make for a perfect marriage, perhaps never more so than when Luke channels Henry V during the X-wing attack on the Death Star: “Once more unto the trench, dear friends, once more!”