So for Christmas I was given a copy of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy by Ian Doescher.
It is probably the greatest gift I’ve ever been given and over the past few weeks has given me oodles of enjoyment, as a Star Wars fan, as a casual Shakespeare scholar, and just a general nerd.
By rewriting George Lucas’s saga in iambic pentameter (For the most part, Yoda, for example, speaks in Haiku…for reasons…) Doescher has done an excellent job of capturing the epic themes of the series and just, I mean, it’s delightful.
With his wallowing and inspirational speeches, Luke Skywalker becomes Henry V, all young fire and heart and heading off to war.
Their bantering love story taken out of naturalism and into poetry, Han Solo and Princess Leia become Beatrice and Benedick, snapping at one another with instant regretful asides.
Darth Vader is Iago, all menacing and brooding and tragic, becoming later something closer to Caliban, a slave to every baser instinct provided him by the emperor rather than a free creature.
But my favorite invention of Doescher’s is the path he created for the droids. To be fair, R2-D2 and C-3PO are for sure the most Shakespearean characters in Star Wars, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of it all. But Doescher even further complicates it. (As it would be in any of the comedies.) R2 is actually a deeply intelligent and eloquent being but is playing a “prank” on 3PO with his beeps and boops.
This is a prank only in the Shakespearean way, in that, the audience and the character know a thing, and it’s very disruptive and is not even vaguely funny, just sort of odd.
I found it delightful.
In fact I found the whole trilogy a great deal of fun, and since I still can’t get enough Star Wars these days, I’m happy to have another outlet for it. (Still haven’t seen Force Awakens again, but that’s more me needing to watch X-Files and nothing but in order to be done in time for the new episodes than not wanting to. I wanted to go last night, but instead, well, I watched X-Files.)
Anyway, check out William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, they’re quick reads a good deal of fun!
That and I’m so so so so so close to finishing X-Files and then I can unclench and actually enjoy things again. 22 episode and I Want To Believe, and then obviously the 6 new episodes. My eye is on the prize here people, and yes, I am watching four episodes a day at this point. It’s a lot. But I’ll finish DAMNIT!