Have you ever read any of those Star Wars extended universe novels or, heaven forbid, the movie novelizations? Well, purge those from your memory because this is nothing like that. William Shakespeare's Star Wars is far from a simple rewriting of the Star Wars scripts. Instead, it draws on the Star Wars mythos (and the Shakespeare canon) to create a uniquely great piece of literature.
Some may see it as more of a novelty item—meant only for the overlapping demographics of English majors and Star Wars fans—but is has a much wider appeal. Shakespeare fans can still enjoy the constant references to other Shakespeare plays and the reworking of Star Wars characters into Shakespeare archetypes. Star Wars fans can appreciate the more in-depth views into what the characters though through the many monologues and musings, and the plentiful references to Star Wars lore (and some amusing foreshadowing).
The series is written in iambic pentameter (even R2-D2's dialogue in beeps and squeaks) with some variation. Yoda speaks exclusively in haiku. When Han and Leia are together they speak in the romantic rhyme scheme of Shakespearean sonnets. The books are sprinkled with illustrations that give classic scenes from the movie a Shakespearean facelift.
The setting of Star Wars is a bit grander than anything Will Shakespeare came up with, but Shakespeare was a far better writer and judge of human character than George Lucas will ever be (sorry). Both of them, however, told good stories. William Shakespeare's Star Wars combines the best of both worlds, using the language and depth of Shakespeare to tell the heroic and humorous story of Star Wars.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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