William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Book Review

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        So, my friend got me this book as a Christmas gift. It’s one of those gifts that you just stare at, blink, then bark out an, “Lolwtf?!”
        William Shakespeare’s Star Wars?! At first, it seems silly.
        But once you start reading, you realize its genius.
        Okay, bear with me here. There is method to this madness.
        Joseph Campbell, author of the landmark book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, is famous for his pioneering work as a mythologist. He studied legends and myths from throughout world history to identify the recurring elements – or archetypes – that power all great storytelling. (Stay with me now.)
        Naturally the plays of William Shakespeare were an important source for Campbell’s scholarship, Shakespeare’s epic plays featuring archetypal heroes.
        (Here’s the lightbulb moment.) George Lucas was one of the first filmmakers to consciously apply Campbell’s scholarship to motion pictures. (Aha! There it is!)
Lucas told Cambell’s biographers in an interview,
“In reading The Hero With a Thousand Faces, I began to realize that my first draft of Star Wars was following classic motifs. So I modified my next draft according to what I’d been learning about classical motifs and made it a little bit more consistent.”
To quote from the Afterword of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars:
“The Star Wars saga features archetypal characters and relationships similar to those found in Shakespearean drama. The complicated parent / child relationship of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (and the mentor / student relationship of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker) recalls plays like Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, The Tempest, and Hamlet. Like Sith lords, many of Shakespeare’s cillains are easily identifiable and almost entirely evil, with notable baddies including Iago (Othello), Edmund (King Lear), and Don John (Much Ado About Nothing). Still others, like Darth Vader, are more conflicted and complex in their malevolence: Hamlet’s Claudius and the band of conspirators in Julius Caeser. Destiny and fate are key themes of Star Wars, as they are in Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth.”
        So follow this seemingly unrelated bread crumb trail: Joseph Campbell studied William Shakespeare to write The Hero With a Thousand Faces. George Lucas studied Joseph Campbell to produce Star Wars. Ian Doescher studied both Campbell and Lucas to make William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope.
        And awesomeness of an epic proportion was born.

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        So true is Ian Doescher to the basic formula of epic storytelling and Elizabethan play writing is this book that William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is the average length of a Shakespearean play, at 3,076 lines. (A Comedy of Errors is the shortest Shakespeare play at 1,786 lines, with Hamlet being the longest at 4,024 lines.)
        The entire movie of A New Hope is reimagined word for word in glorious iambic pentameter, and the book features twenty amazing Elizabethan style illustrations of scenes from the movie. Archaic sixteenth century grammar and vocabulary are used with an amazing degree of historic accuracy, giving this book a very authentically Shakespearean feel. And while the prose is firmly set in ancient styling, at the same time the Star Wars jargon is faithfully represented. Really, you have to just read it to understand how awesome this book is.
        For fans of both Shakespeare AND Star Wars, you are a failure at life if you don’t own this book. Seriously. Each page will have you grinning like an idiot and marveling at how one of your favorite movies can be enjoyed from a whole new, unique perspective.
        So yes. This book rocks. And I really want to see this done at a Renaissance Fair. This NEEDS to happen.
[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]

Have you read this book yet? Interested in checking it out?

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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

14 thoughts on “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Book Review

  • 25 January, 2014 at 6:03 pm
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    Oh my! How amazing & hilarious.

    • 26 January, 2014 at 3:34 pm
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      Yeah, I was reading it out loud to Jonathan and Tessa and we were just laughing out loud at every page.. not because it was “funny” exactly, but because it was just so PERFECT!!

  • 25 January, 2014 at 7:17 pm
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    WHAT?! Why have I not heard of this book. I mean, our room is Star Wars, I have been taken to the principal’s office over Star Wars…I mean..this is awesome. I am going to have to get it.

    • 26 January, 2014 at 3:36 pm
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      To the principals office over Star Wars?! Okay, that is a story that you HAVE TO tell. Like, right now. Go. lol

  • 25 January, 2014 at 9:01 pm
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    Isn’t it amazing! There are others too. For example Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Both which I highly recommend!

    • 25 January, 2014 at 9:46 pm
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      I have heard of those ones but never that one. I am going to get them next week. I am too excited about this. I had never met anyone that has read them but now that I have heard they are good I am going to read them. Thanks!

      • 26 January, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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        You’ve gotta review the other books for me!

    • 26 January, 2014 at 3:36 pm
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      Okay, now why haven’t *I* heard of those?!?! MUST… READ!!

  • 26 January, 2014 at 5:42 am
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    How awesome is this? I love Star Wars and am going to buy this ASAP!!

    • 26 January, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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      Let me know what you think!!

  • 26 January, 2014 at 4:57 pm
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    Now that Gingi is done with this book I’m quite anxious to read it! We had to lightsaber duel for the right to read it first.

  • 4 May, 2014 at 9:41 pm
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    This sounds like an interesting book

Comments are closed.

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