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Monday, October 28, 2013

What if William Shakespeare had Written Star Wars?

Doescher, Ian  (2013) William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope  Philadelphia: Lucas Books

It starts like this:

C-3PO:  Now is the summer of our happiness
              Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!
              Our ship is under siege, I know not how.
              O hast thou heard?  The main reactor fails!
              We shall surely be destroy'd by this.
              I'll warrant madness lies herein.
R2-D2:  --Beep, beep.  Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, beep, beep, whee!
C-3PO:  We're doomed. 
              The princess shall have no escape this time!
              I fear this battle doth portent the end
              Of the rebellion.  O!  What misery!

Now I am certain that not everyone reading this is either a Star Wars nut or a Shakespeare nut.  And I suppose even fewer of you are both.  So let me break this down for you:

If you are a Star Wars Nut but not a Shakespeare nut:  Buy this book immediately.  You will find it hilarious and you will discover that the once-impenetrable Shakespearean language is suddenly clear as a bell and funny as well.  I am not sure why I find it so delightful when Biggs says, "But Luke, at that quick pace shalt thou escape/ Before thy speedy ship is blown in twain?" and Luke replies "'Twill be like Beggar's Canyon back at home." 

If you are a Shakespeare nut but don't care so much about Star Wars:  Buy this book immediately.  This book may be your one chance to be able to absorb the details of Star Wars without having to watch the movie.  Besides, you will be the sort of person who will get the joke when Artoo speaks directly to the audience and explains that he speaks in beeps and whistles because he has been ensorcelled, and explains how he really feels about Threepio and the others.

If you don't really like either one, but you teach students who like one or the other, buy this book for them. Your students and their parents will love you for it.

If you like both, you probably aren't reading this any more, you are probably riding your bike to your favorite independent bookstore or taking public transportation to your local library.  Good.  When you get back and finish reading it, let me know how much you liked it.


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