Audie Award Finalist, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2014
Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare's greatest plays. 'Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.
William Shakespeare's Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the audiobook you're looking for.
©2013 Ian Doescher (P)2013 Random House Audio
Say something about yourself!
I had a blast reading the book. Now to hear it performed, it's even better. Mashups like this usually don't impress me because most don't go for broke and waste time winking at themselves. This... this is greatness incarnate, and I daresay the Bard would approve.
A full cast of pros playing it straight and yet still coming across with a Monty Python edge, the classic sound effects and music... it's comedy gold. I can't imagine how many times they had to stop recording in the attempt to not bust a gut. I haven't laughed this hard in ages, and I think I spooked my co-workers this morning.
Billiam The First
Hearing the asides from R2-D2. I have wondered for 30 years what that little rustbucket has been saying, and I found out. I nearly drove off the road doing so, but I found out.
The aside from Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first act. When you hear it, you will understand.
Daniel Davis filled the role of Narrator perfectly, despite my misgivings at the beginning that Star Wars (of all things) didn't need one.
The Shakespearean stage directions were fun. I have been saying 'Exeunt Droid' for three days, much to my wife's chagrin.
Yes, if I had been presented the opportunity, I would have. Probably best that I didn't. It might have killed me.
Always busy - always in the car.
This was so great to listen to - but beware - laughter will happen even will driving
The way it was put together - the characters - the Shakespeare references
R2D2 was the best - that cast was incredible
I laughed for the whole first part of the book - and the second part - it was great - and I don't always like music or sound effects in other books, it was perfect in this book - especially enjoyed R2D2
I am giving this as a gift to 3 people and I have a couple of folks wanting to get it for themselves. Wish I could give it more than 5 stars
I flip-flop between business and fiction books to keep me grounded in reality while still keeping my childhood love of fantasy firmly intact.
The author must have seriously considered the question when he sat down to write. Could a Star Wars book work in Shakespearean English? Should I even waste the time trying?
I, for one, am glad Ian Doescher decided to do it, because it's GREAT! The characters have their own thoughts revealed in ways they aren't done in the movie, which leads to a twisted understanding of characters like R2-D2; apparently, he's not a happy-go-lucky droid: he's conniving and manipulative, even if it is for the better good.
The narrators did a great job with the character voices, and some of them got the intonation just right, despite the fact that they were speaking in Shakespeare-era English.
As both a Shakespeare fan and a Star Wars junkie, I'm excited to share this one with my kids, in the hopes that it will get them interested in the Bard before they have to read his real stuff in junior high!
For a super fan of Star Wars, this is the best purchase I have ever made from Audible.
It followed the original storyline but had a little bit more humor.
The narrators were awesome, especially Marc Thompson (who does Han Solo's voice). Hearing Han Solo do William Shakespeare was hilarious!
Moved? No, not really. Just very enjoyable.
I will listen to these three books over and over and over!!!
This was really fantastic. The narrators of all the Star Wars audiobooks came together to perform William Shakespeare's Star Wars, and it was the best thing ever. At first I was meh on it, but carrying on, I soon to grow to love this performance. Ian Doescher poked so much fun into the Star Wars film in the form of Shakespeare (the "Han shot first" scene among others) that I couldn't help but laugh really hard in public.
Though only about 3.5 hours, it is worth EVERYTHING SECOND & CREDIT for it. I can't wait for "The Empire Striketh Back."
Avid listener on my daily commute!
The day I first purchased this title, in e-book form, I endured no end of taunting from my family (consisting approximately of one-half Shakespearean scholars and one-half Star Wars fanatics), who joked that they hoped that all eight of us in the United States who loved both Star Wars and Shakespeare would really enjoy the book. I think time has proven there are far more of us than my skeptical family believed. If you are one of us, this will be one of your best-spent credits. It's as funny as your favorite comedy, as moving as any drama, and the writing (in iambic pentameter, no less!) is flawless. The sound effects and music are fantastic, too. I listen to it every time I feel discouraged by life (like this week!) and need a gentle, Shakespearean reminder that when the Empire builds a Death Star, it's not time to wallow in despair, it's time to gather one's courage and join the rebellion. May the Force be with us all. Grade: A+
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
This is such a great concept for a book, and executed with such enjoyment and wonder that you'll be completely willing to overlook a few minor mistakes. Here you have something NEW and FUN, a book unlike anything you've read before. As you can see from the publisher's description, it's the story of Star Wars Episode 4 written in Shakespearean Iambic Pantameter. The soliliques are here, the asides, the great references to Shakespeare lines and Starwsars fandom (such as a reference to Han shooting first.)
Also, the author isn't afraid to rethink the characters. For instance, R2D2 speaks in beeps and squeaks, but then will give a monologue as an aside to the audience about how HE'S really the one controlling the action and how much he hates C3P0. If the gimic wears a bit thin in the middle and the author attempts to write stage directions at the end of the piece in a way Shakespeare never would, that's ok, because this is a fresh author and cast and they just want us to have fun with them. Go along for the ride.
When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
In short, this is the most brilliant piece of writing I have read in a long time. I am a big fan of the original trilogy Star Wars movies and it’s just incredible how well they work in Shakespearean language. Doescher studied Shakespeare and is also a big sci-fi geek and his understanding of both media comes across very well. The dichotomy of the sci-fi content in old fashioned language adds a real interest to the writing. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun to play “spot the (adapted) Shakespeare quotation.” For example, we have “Alas, poor stormtrooper, I knew ye not” referencing Hamlet’s thoughts on Yorrick.
I have both the audiobook (narrated by a troupe of Shakespearean actors including the author himself) and I strongly recommend experiencing William Shakespeare’s Star Wars in audiobook format rather than the written word. The cast really brings it to life.
a fun and exciting romp in the stars with the bard!
Han or Obi Wan
the ONLY detractor to the book is R2-D2 saying beep and boop. the story would have lost nothing if the sound effects of his speech had been added. still and absolutely fan-freaking-tastic I hope that empire and Jedi are soon to follow!!
"Verily; A great reteling."
Ben Kenobi. His rewritten diolog was the most fun to compare to the original and the small retcons added are a good way of tying the series together in a more believable fashion.
The scenes with Like on Tatooine. the slow, character based scenes work particularly well in the Shakespearean format.
It filled me the same excitement that Star wars used to give me as a boy.
I'm so glad this exists. I'd never have thought of it but the two things work so well together.
I can not believe how well Star Wars and Shakespeare work together. I'll love to see on the stage.
""Bleep bleep, whistle, squeak" ..."
Thoroughly entertaining from Tatooine to the Death Star. The characters portrayed are almost all spot on (perhaps a little too much John Wayne in Han Solo), but that's a minor quibble. I look forward to the next episode. This has been my first experience of audible and my eyes are grateful for the rest. Excellent.
"Two things I love finally mashed up"
I love Shakespeare and I love Star Wars so how could this not be a good thing! Performances are great with a bit more insight into the mind of R2D2. LOVED IT!
Deifnitiely, I will listen to this many times. Ian doescher has done a truly magical thing here. He has taken this book and kept it completely faithful while transforming it into a Shakesperian play. The voice actors are great and I cant wait to start the next.
I only hope that the RSC produce this as a play... I'd pay to see it in a heartbeat.....
This is such a famous story and so many will know it "line for line" already so it's hard fopr voice actors to bring anything new to the story at all. Having said that they do..... They use the new syntax to bring out the emotions of the story in vbery different ways... you lkearn more of Moff Tarkin and his motivations and feelings for example.
Would have but just couldn't take the time out... maybe my next listen.
There are so many "Star Wars Geeks" out there (me included) and any adaptation runs the risk of not meeting the high expectations of such a strange and devoted following. George Lucas even fell foul of this with some of his decisions for Episodes 1,2 & 3. Certainly among many fans, episodes 4,5 & 6 are held in such high esteem that any "tampering" with them could lead to disaster!I am in this category, and was at first a little cautious when I heard about these books. I got the paper version first (a box set of hard backs) and thoroughly loved them. Then I saw them in Audible and listened to the narration sample. I was sold.....My only recommendation is this... FANTASTIC....GET IT ...!
Both as a concept and how this then works out in practice it is brilliant. The more one knows about Star Wars and about Shakespeare, the bigger the laughs. Excellently done. It is good to have some light hearted pieces to listen to occasionally. I hope the same people do some more of the same.
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