Star Wars Meets Shakespeare: The Empire Striketh Back | Fanboys Anonymous

Star Wars Meets Shakespeare: The Empire Striketh Back

Posted by Caelan Dooley Thursday, January 30, 2014
Pop culture made an epic twist: the Bard and the Jedi. Ian Doescher returns to the galaxy far, far away with two more installments in his Elizabethan-esque dialogue with Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Returns. This is the book you're looking for…

Ian Doescher's second installment in his Shakespearean Star Wars saga
Good luck understanding Yoda now in Shakespearean dialogue. 
"In time so long ago begins our play, In star-crossed galaxy far, far away." 
*Cue the music*
Ian Doescher retells George Lucas' Star Wars saga of valor and villainy across the galaxy as though it were a classic Shakespearean play. Combined with elaborate black-and-white Elizabethan-styled illustrations by Nicholas Delort, Doescher's brilliantly written mashup of the iconic sci-fi saga and the 17th-century playwright returns with two more books due out this year.

The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Returns complete the elegant translation of the original Star Wars into five-act Shakespearean dramatic plays.

"Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter," Quirk Books said on its website.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars returns for two sequels
Scene 1 from William Shakespeare's Star Wars
A long-time fan of both William Shakespeare and Star Wars, Doescher published his first book, William Shakespeare's Star Wars, on July 2, 2013, and it debuted at number twelve on The New York Times best seller list for hardcover fiction.
Luke Skywalker in Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars
Ian Doescher's Verily, A New Hope

"I do think any modern storyteller is influenced by the stories we all grow up with and become familiar with, our shared cultural narratives," Doescher said in an interview with Quirk Books last year. "Shakespeare's plays are a part of that tradition, so George Lucas was probably influenced at least somewhat by Shakespeare, as well as Twain, Dickens, Melville, etc."

The second installment will go on sale March 18, with Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return arriving on bookshelves July 1. Preorders are available now at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and elsewhere.

Additionally, for teachers interested in getting students excited about Shakespeare, this William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Educator’s Guide provides a side-by-side comparison between Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars and Shakespeare's plays such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, and his sonnets.

Art thou excit'd f'r the next two installments of William Shakespeare's Star Wars? Speaketh thy mind in the comment section below. May the verse be with you.
THIS POST WRITTEN BY: CAELAN DOOLEY

Caelan Dooley is a queer artist, activist, and writer, covering comics, tech, and video games. She regularly performs with the Rich Weirdoes, Orlando's Rocky Horror shadow cast. You can follow her on Twitter. Extended staff profile here.

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